How to Write a Web Design Case Study that Lands New Clients

Whenever you’re looking for a new job as a freelancer, you need a good portfolio that can attract clients, and this not just about images that you put up on your website.

One of the best ways to do this is by creating detailed case studies about the work that you did in the past and make sure that you document it. Go a step further and put it all on your website.

This is important for many reasons like:

  • They can be a basis for your final presentation when you need to show something to your clients.
  • The more content you have on your page the higher you will rank on the search engine.
  • By you presenting your work to the public, it gives people an idea of your work and the things that they can expect from you.
  • This also gives you the platform to show people your worth.
  • It helps in case potential clients want to contact you.

Here, we will showcase the necessary steps that you will need to create a good case study.

1. Document Your Process

The best way to create your case study is to document the process from start to finish. This can be done with the help of photographs and screenshots which will help in explaining your design decisions.

At every stage, when you make a revision, make sure that you document it and give the reasons why it was necessary. By doing this, you are making sure that you keep yourself in the loop so as not to get lost when you decide to take a look at the project a few months from now and why the decision is made based on your client’s goals and not your creative feeling.

You can use an app called WIP. WIP will help you in organizing your work, showing it off and also getting feedback from your audience.

2. Create a Meaningful Overview

The overview of a project is what your audience first meets when they come across your case study, so you want to keep this part very short and precise. Give them enough information for them to understand what the project is about and what you had set out to accomplish.

A final result is also accompanied by the overview, this is to show the client the final result upfront before going into explaining the stages of your work.

3. Display Pictures

Display Pictures

Pictures should show how you went from the research stage of your work up to when you get to the final product. This involves a lot of screenshots, creating high quality sketches and mock-ups, or anything that can help you in visualizing the creative process.

Such visuals act as eye candy for your readers. Plus, people love to see how things come from nothing up to when they mature to the final project. Watching the step by step transformation is really engaging and makes people relate more as they see you making mistakes.

4. Give Reasons For Your Decisions

Everything that you use on your project should serve a purpose, be it the color, picture or words. They should all have a purpose that they serve and why they are the best choice for this particular client.

The reason for a case study is to show how things work in a real-world situation as compared to just showing people the final product. Thus, it is very important to have a board that showcases your creative process before you start production, this gives a detailed and clear view of what your client wants.

A questionnaire can also be used in determining whether this is the right project for you, and to see if you can over deliver so as to attract the right clients.

5. Get A Testimonial

Get A Testimonial

Client testimonials are a way of proving that indeed you can do the work that you’re given to the standards required by the client. A good testimonial also creates confidence amongst your potential clients, even the ones that you thought may not want any of your services. Thus, it is important to follow up with your clients so as to get a review on how your service was and to know how you can use those testimonials to increase your business.

A good testimonial is also dependent on the right questions. You can pester a client to give you a review of your service but if you don’t have the right questions, you may not achieve what you had intended. Most clients do not know how to give testimonials and this is not their job. They don’t need to, it’s up to you to bring out the testimonial out of them.

Here are questions that you can ask so as to get the best possible testimonial:

  • Discuss how your experience was working with us.
  • What did you like the most about the final project?
  • Would you recommend us? If so why?

These questions guide the client on how the testimonial should be. They help in bringing a clear picture of how their experience was when they worked with you.

6. Call To Action

For every other page on your site, you need a call to action so as to help your prospects in contacting you. At least, a certain percentage of the people that will go through your portfolio will end up submitting a project request. So, having a call to action is one of the important pieces that will assist you in getting new clients.

If you’ve followed the above steps then a call to action wouldn’t be so hard as you would have enticed your reader so much that they will be tempted to call you.

7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is something that a lot of people overlook but it shouldn’t especially when it comes to adding new projects to your portfolio. Considering that there are over 40,000 searches made every second. Your portfolio will be made up of different clients from different industries and you would want to explain how you would use long tail keywords for a certain app or website.

You can use word tracker and Google AdWords tool to see how best you can optimize your clients work for better rankings.

8. Choose Interesting Clients

We know that portfolios need projects, so it is important that whenever we choose clients, we choose the ones that have the most interesting projects. These projects will be added on to our portfolio thus they project how interesting we are too. Instead of adding only average projects, focus on the interesting clients.

9. Gather Data All At Once

Gather Data All At Once

One of the best ways to create a case study is to decide right from the beginning that you will be turning a project into a case study. This will allow you to gather the information that you may need as you work on the project. The data that you may need may arise from mood boards to the very first drafts that you come up with or even the final version of the project itself.

Gather all that you may need for your case study and remember that it is easier to remove things after putting them in rather than searching for them later when you want to compile data for your portfolio.

10. Structure Your Work

Structure Your Work

The structure of your work matters a lot and there are various ways that you can structure your work. You can use the dot-dash method to neatly organize your work.

Your case study should have a standard structure that will assist your client’s in understanding it when they go through it.

A good case study contains several parts starting with the essentials which comprise of:

  • Company name.
  • Client’s role.
  • The industry that they are in.
  • The time you have been working together.

The second part is the context and it also has several layers starting with:

  • Who belongs to the company?
  • What it is they do.
  • How are you helping them?

After this you move to the problem:

  • What is the problem that they are facing?
  • How were they tackling it before you?
  • How did the problem affect them?
  • A quote from the client.

Next up is how you helped;

  • How was it working with the client?
  • What solution did you come up with?

Then comes the impact;

  • The qualitative impact.
  • The quantitative impact.
  • Quote from the client.

Last is the call to action;

  • What would you like the client to do after reading the case study? Leave instructions on how to get to you.
11. Content Creation

Now that you have a clear picture of how your path should be like, then it should be easy for you to come up with the text for your case study and pictures. To come up with the best text you can use a copywriter. This will save you a lot of time and headache.

At this point, you can also share the case study with the client to see if you can get their input. You will notice that they can be very receptive once they see a draft of what you are working on.

12. Design


For case studies, you ought to have a template that shows your brand. You can employ the services of a designer to help you with this task. In the template, there should be images, diagrams and logos so as to make the case study livelier.

Format quotes and any other important parts of the story so as to highlight their importance. Also, keep in mind that most of your clients will consume your work on their iPad or laptops thus you should have PDF links on your website.

13. Distribute

Case studies can only be of good use if your clients are able to have access to them and read them.

There are several places that you can easily distribute your work so as get more traction.

  • Your website – case studies have the ability to generate a lot of website leads. You can place them in the marketing forms and follow up once a client downloads them.
  • Sales teams – they rely a lot on case studies so as to send them to their existing clients and potential clients.
  • Conferences and events – you can always print your case studies and distribute them at conferences.


We hope that you’ve enjoyed this post and that you follow all the tips that we’ve given you so as to get the best out of case studies. The whole purpose of this is to help grow your business as fast as possible and make your portfolio even more attractive. You can share your web design case studies with us in the comments section.

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