Using a prepared interview format is helpful. This assures that you gather all the information that you need, and gives you a way to record and later, to organize, the responses to the interview. In some cases, you can give your client a checklist to complete and return to you.
The authors have created ten different needs assessment forms for use when gathering information about your client, their home, and the bathroom design project. They provide an organized way to complete your interview and jobsite inspection. These needs assessment forms are discussed and included in this chapter and are also available online at: www. wiley. com/go /bathplanning
The needs assessment forms are:
Client information forms
Form 1: Getting to Know Your Client Form 2: Getting to Know Your Client’s Home Form 5: Your Client’s Bathroom Preferences Checklists for client use
Form 3: Checklist for Bathroom Activities Form 4: Bathroom Storage Inventory Jobsite and house information forms Form 6: Jobsite Inspection Form 7: Dimensions of Mechanical Devices Form 8: Window Measurements Form 9: Door Measurements Form 10: Fixture Measurements
Additional forms for planning closets and exercise areas are discussed in chapter 9, "More Than a Bathroom."
You might want to adapt the needs assessment forms to develop an interview format that works well on a computer, and take a laptop with you to record information. The forms can be adapted as needed for your business, and used in either an electronic or printed format.
In order to complete a client interview, you need to ask some questions about intimate and personal activities related to the bathroom. To put your client at ease, adopt an open and frank approach. Use the correct terms for body functions and avoid euphemisms. Explain that some of the questions may seem personal, but the more information you have, the more successful your design.
During the interview, you will be asking about physical abilities. This can also be a sensitive subject. A client who is getting older may not recognize or accept the physical changes of aging. People with degenerative conditions may not be willing to yield to the impact of the disease on their bodies. Physical limitations can sometimes be hidden for short periods of time, especially with a relative stranger. Again, be open and stress the importance of fully knowing the client’s physical situation, in order to develop the most supportive design. For more information on working with clients with special needs, refer to chapter 8, "Accessibility in Practice."