Why questionnaires are so Important

So you are working with a designer…

And they hand you a list of questions. I’m sure many of you are thinking: “I just want a design, and now you are giving me homework?”

I get it. I recently made a dental appointment and was given a huge packet of questions– that I have yet to fill out, oops. In my own defense, I keep forgetting, and maybe that’s the case for you. Questionnaires kind of suck. They are daunting and annoying, and you wonder why you even need to fill them out. All you want is a website, so why do you have to tell your whole life story? You may even feel like you already told the designers what you do, and what you want, so why now?

Let me just say, that in this line of work, I now have greater respect for questionnaires– even if I do forget to fill them out occasionally (hey, my dental appointment isn’t until July, so I’ll get it done– probably… hopefully not the night before). I can’t tell you just how much I rely on a questionnaire to figure out what I need to do to create my next design. 

I constantly look at it, and I rely on each individual question. 

Yes, every question.

And here’s why…

A Blank Canvas

When I get a new client they are a completely blank canvas. Outside of what I can find on social media or what they tell me, I only know the superficial. What makes you different from the next company? How? Why? What image do you want to communicate?

The more the client tells me, the less they are a blank canvas– the more detailed the painting. Questionnaires help to fill in the canvas and fine-tune all of the details, and fill in the gaps for lost pieces of information. It tells me who you are specifically, what you do, who your target audience is (so I can understand the tone), what colors you need, and what designs you like that I can use as inspiration. Honestly, I might have a perception of what the client wants but might not know that they hate that angle unless they tell me what it is they like in a design. 

As you are beginning to see, questionnaires help me with the design process, but really, the questionnaires are for you so I as the designer don’t get carried away into a design that I think would be fitting to the company, and aren’t left guessing what is needed to fill a blank canvas. 

Questionnaires are for YOU

Hate them, despise them, burn them if you have to (just make sure I get a copy first) but questionnaires aren’t just for me. 

They are for you. 

As I stated, you as the client are a blank canvas, and do you want me to fill in the gaps on my own? Only to find out that the shade of blue I chose is from your main competitor? Or that you have always hated that one design element? or that the design is too playful when you wanted something strictly formal?

What I may believe is best for the design, might not be best for you. And as a designer, that is the worst situation to come in contact with. I want to know what works for you specifically, not what works for most people in your line of business. I want to know about you and your company so I can give you a design that will highlight all of your best qualities.

That is what the questionnaire is for. Not to stress you out, but for you to tell us what you want. To create a website that is uniquely yours. So the amount of information you give us will be the amount of information we will understand about you. 

Knowing what you like is important

Hopefully, I am getting the point across that it’s important to share more information about the design than just the colors you want. Well, if not, think about it this way, if you tell me you like the color blue, I immediately want to know what shade of blue.

Is Blue like the blue in the Twitter logo? Or blue the Gap logo? Both are the same color but very different shades– and different feel even. Think about the bubbly circular logo of the Twitter logo, it gives a “playful” feel. Whereas the dark blue and the shapes in the Gap logo give more of a “classic” and professional feel. 

See what I mean? Telling me you like a color only tells me so much. What shade do you want? And how do you want it represented on your website? Is it supposed to be front and center, and take up most of the website, or do you want it more of an accent color? Colors are powerful and if used improperly it can present the wrong feel. Or in some cases the right feel.

That is the point though, one size does not fit all, and if you fill out all of a project’s questionnaire then we as the designers will have a clearer understanding of what your canvas looks like, and the type of feel you are trying to convey. The more specific the better! 

I’d like to say I can read minds, but if that were the case, I’d probably try putting on a cape and auditioning to be an Avenger over designing websites. But as it stands, I can’t read minds, so here we are and here you are, and here is the questionnaire, and hopefully you understand how powerful specifics are! Even more powerful than Captain America– at least in the design world!

But I already told you everything…

And maybe that is the case, but what if you changed your mind? Or what if we didn’t understand correctly? A questionnaire is important for clearing the air on what you need exactly. A record of exactly what you as the client say helps with accuracy. 

I don’t know about you, but the art of elocution is not my strong suit… My mind and my tongue often fight each other, like some sort of civil war–not unlike a certain Captain America Civil War movie– usually all that comes out are stutters and incorrect ideas of what is properly on my mind. I mean if I digress this much in just a blog article, just imagine a speech of mine! 

But this is exactly why writing is preferable. You can properly get your thoughts out and think through what you need to say exactly. This helps clear up any misunderstandings and creates a visual documentation of everything that we need. As I stated, I rely heavily on the questionnaire when creating the design. 

And maybe you sent over a document that has all of your information on it– 

It’s still preferable to have the questionnaire filled out instead. As I said, accuracy is the main reason. There could be something you may have said that we misinterpreted. Or it could be that you only answered a partial question in the information you sent over. 

In addition, a questionnaire is so crucial because while you may have answered most questions, you may not have answered the most important questions, or missed a few. As I have said, a questionnaire is meant to fill in a blank canvas with as much detail as possible. We don’t just throw questions around either, the questions that were chosen were put to the test with repeated use and now we have a compilation of the most crucial and needed answers. 

There are too many questions

As I stated in the last section, the questions chosen for our questionnaire were narrowed down to ones that most accurately give us a profile of what kind of company you are, what sort of product you need, and overall share a basic understanding of who you are. 

This is also why it’s so important to answer each question because each question has already been narrowed down to the minimum specifics we require to design a website that perfectly suits you.

Not Johnny down the road, or Suzie at her bakery– but you. Many websites these days look similar, so how do you stand out? A clever website that is meant for you and is not just a basic template will certainly help with that. Besides, like college, a website, or logo, or whatever product you need, is an investment. It might sound like a hassle, but you want to get the most out of the product you need, so do yourself a favor and let us know everything about you that we can in order to make you and your company shine!

But I don’t understand what you want. I’m no designer

Well thank goodness for you, we are designers! So not to worry! If you have any questions about how to fill out the questionnaire call us! Talk to us! We can help you and even go over the questionnaire if it doesn’t make sense. 

On top of that, if you know what you want, but can’t describe it, attach images, or use whatever messed up language to choppily get the message across we aren’t picky as long as you give us an idea of what you want. Just as we say you should reach out to us with questions, we can always reach out to you if we don’t understand. One way or another we will figure it out, and the end product will speak for itself! 

We’re not expecting you to be the designers, that’s what we’re here for! 


To conclude, questionnaires help us fill out a blank canvas that is a new client. They help us paint a picture of what you need and as close to your expectations as possible. Remember, as annoying as they are, they are for you in order to speak to your company specifically, and not anyone else’s. And they are for us to craft the design your way. Ultimately this website is yours, and we are here to send our best work to capture your company and highlight it in the best ways. 

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