You want a new website – and you want to know what it’s going to cost.
Any digital agency will ask to examine your project briefly to acquire quotes. The website brief is a crucial beginning point for the entire creative process.
There is no industry-standard website briefing approach — some focus on broad corporate philosophy and principles, while others examine explicitly what each button on each page is to accomplish.
It might be tough to determine how much detail you need in technical or creative terms and to know what an agency will want to present you with a precise estimate. Furthermore, the results of your complete project are affected directly by what is contained in your brief.
In this article, we will discuss in-depth what a website design brief is and why it is important to those engaged in the creation of a new site. We’ll also see how you can construct one. Let’s dive in!
What Is a Website Design Brief?
A website design brief describes the process, requirements, and timelines of the web design. It aims to ensure that both parties understand clearly what they anticipate about project workflow, deliverables, and post-launch services.
The brief also gives clients a more detailed estimate of their expenses and timescales. This is because all major requirements and deliverables were identified at an early stage.
Who should create a web design brief?
A website design brief is usually created by the business, after signing a contract with the web design client. Identify some important pieces of information that assist your project to stay on track and within your budget. They may also be created by web experts who offer to build sites for new clients, however, the final document in these circumstances is called a web design proposal.
In reality, the brief may be created by all important stakeholders in a website project. Most of the effort should nevertheless be with the client.
The brief can assist to keep the work on track and manage expectations as a project management tool. As we have already discussed, this may also contribute to preventing scope creep, which is unintentionally extending the scope and aims of a project beyond what was originally agreed.
How to Create a Website Brief
To be effective, a web design brief must be comprehensive and unambiguous. You do not want to allow space for misinterpretation because it can lead to project revisions that take up more time and money.
There are 13 crucial factors below so that a final product can be created by the Web Designer. All of these should be covered regardless of who writes the brief.
- Describe the business/company the website is for
A company profile or business overview is one of the crucial details your brief has to address. This is essential to assist the entire design team to familiarize themselves with the brand and its values, purpose, and vision – which influence the project’s direction and business goals.
A list of core stakeholders should also be included here. This is especially important for knowing whom to contact for specific results, which may be necessary to advance the project, and for answering any problems.
You will also want to mention any future expansion plans, as it will make it possible for the design team to establish an early basis for planned adjustments.
- Target audience & users
Try to describe the kind of people you are looking for on the internet. Describe how your perfect client appears. This helps us develop a website designed for these exact individuals.
You may even expand it from your existing customers with little market research. What do they want to see? What’s going to help them?
- Goals of the New Site
What are the new site’s overall objectives? We will observe the following blend most often:
- Increase brand awareness.
- Improve online presence with a modern, and mobile responsive website design.
- Increase online exposure through natural and paid listings.
- Increase sales.
- Generate leads and inquiries.
- Improved source of information through e-learning or blogs.
- Bespoke requirements for clients i.e., bespoke platforms or services.
If you think it will be important – include a section about your old site. What works, what doesn’t, things to lose, things to retain, what you don’t like about it.
- Competitors or sites you Like
Who are your main competitors? We can look at what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. Some may have particular areas of interest i.e., key functionality. Which sites have great designs that you like? Take a look at things like layout, color schemes, typography, photography, and unique tools or features.
Try providing a list of links with reference notes for each of them.
- Look and Feel
Once you have examined your competition or your favorite websites, attempt to explain the new site’s look & feel.
“The website is for athletes, for instance, so that we want a clean, modern, and sports style. A blue/red system such as abc.com works well, and we think it gives the website a fresh feel. Cool typefaces may appear excellent like those on xyz.com. The whole website just needs to ooze sports, fitness, and wellbeing.”
Watch out for any nice user interface features you like. Do you like lifestyle photography or illustrations? How much of a free reign do you want our designers to have?
- Technical Features & requirements
This section is very important for larger projects. To avoid scope creep later into the project (and additional costs) be as thorough as you can here.
- Does the site feature user logins? How do you handle, authorize and manage registrations? What’s on the dashboard for the user? Describe each bespoke feature needed.
- Is the site e-commerce? If yes, include product categories and variants, methods of payment/checkout, cost calculations, shipment tracking, discount codes, any reference discounts, etc.
- API Integration – Will the site need to integrate with any external feeds or APIs – if so, we’ll need thorough detail and actual examples of these.
- User profiles – What data will be included? What search criteria?
- Established institutions may have in-house coding guidelines – we’ll need to see these.
Also list the general areas of the site that will be required such as:
- Social media feeds
- Discussion Forum
- Interactive Map
- Events section
- Online Bookings
- Portfolio Section
- Team Page
- In-house requirements
Describe how the website is maintained every day. How will you update and add information regularly? Will any kind of data export from the site be necessary? Do you need to collect more ongoing data from the website, other than Google Analytics?
Are you going to provide new website content? If so, it’s a good idea to plot out a rough sitemap of your brief at that stage. What is the total number of pages?
Be explicit about who makes up the team and the approval procedure for this content. Content delivery frequently leads to delayed launches of websites, therefore start thinking this from day 1.
What photography, illustrations, or graphics are currently available?
- Hosting, support & maintenance
Normally, you would like your preferred agency to host your website, alternative hosting agreements may be available to you – please specify them. How much ongoing support do you believe the site will require? What you may need to help you go ahead?
Any modern hosting installation should be safe, provide frequent backups, and give a speedy website.
- Online marketing & SEO
So, you have set up your amazing new website live, and all year you don’t have a visit — no one knows that it is there. The success of your new website depends on digital marketing. You can efficiently summarize them if you already have marketing plans in place.
Nothing is worse than investing a lot in your brand-new website, but you’ll need to get people to see this. SEO, pay-per-click, social media, and email marketing have never been more effective, and each new website needs a thorough and planned online approach. Also, do not overlook traditional kinds of advertising like printing, and do not forget word of mouth.
Sometimes a deadline may not matter – and the job takes as long as it needed to be perfect. There may be a critical deadline in other instances.
If an agency knows your schedules, it will help them manage their resources better and manage a smoother project from day one. Unsure about how long it takes to build a website?
- The Future – measuring your success
How are you going to assess the new website’s success? Are you targeting sales or visitors? A reputable agency might provide recommendations and services for these purposes.
Think of a few goals you would like to hit for the first and second years.
Yes, your budget! Why do we need to know this?
The expense of developing a website adds greatly to the brief. It affects numerous areas of the project, including what kinds of tools will be used to build the site and the overall scope.
If your budget is on the bottom line, for example, your site may be a bit simpler and depend more on templates. This might include the use of a website builder or content management system (CMS). However, if you can put more money towards it, the web design team can spend time on complex design or high-end services, such as custom-built solutions.
Website Design Brief Template
Now that you know what goes into a web design brief, you can start to crack yours. If you want, though, we have our very own downloadable template that you may use to fill in all the information you need.
Lastly, if you need inspiration, see the gorgeous Pinterest examples.
Keep Your Projects on Track with a Website Design Brief
You can keep your projects on schedule and within your budget using a design brief. It will also guarantee that all participants have a clear view of the desired outcome and offer you the opportunity to detect and take early measures to prevent obstacles.
A brief must be as detailed as possible to prevent needless back and forth due to misunderstanding or a lack of clarity. Certain things include a summary of the business, aims, and target audience of the website.
Do you have any questions about creating a website brief? Let us know in the comments section below!