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I recently finished a job for a client who wanted a simple 3-page website: Home, About, and Contact.

This client said that they would provide the text and a few videos. They would also provide a hero image to be used at the top of each page.

Pretty early in the project, the client casually instructed me to Photoshop the image to blend it with the website’s theme. This was an intermediate skill-level photo manipulation task, involving multiple layers of carefully selected semi-transparent masks.

Now, I have no problem reminding a client of the scope of a project, either telling them simply “no” or “that’ll cost extra,” but the casual assumption that I have any skill in graphic design gave me a chuckle. It wasn’t something we had talked about in the the proposal process.

What kind of wizard does this client think I am, that I should be as skilled in color and composition as I am in computer science? Am I both artist and engineer? Well, maybe I am 😏. While it is true that I am equally capable of creating visual art and functional code, the real lesson here is that I didn’t ask enough question in the proposal process to be 100% sure what the client’s needs would be.

Getting to know a client and their needs takes time and attention. In a highly competitive freelancing market, clients are bombarded with offers (sadly, many of them are automated solicitations), and it can be worrisome to think that the client is going to pick the dev who says “YES I CAN DO YOUR PROJECT!!!!!111!!!” over the one who asks a bunch of questions about every detail of the project before placing a bid.

Then again, the personal attention can make you stand out as a dev who brings a real human touch to the work, and some clients (the ones you really want to work with anyway) will truly appreciate that.

Is there a sweet spot of how many questions to ask, or which questions are most efficient at finding the real requirements of a project?

#webdevelopment #freelance #wordpress #webdeveloper #upwork #webdesign #graphicdesign