When you are looking to get a new or updated website, you’re going to need to clearly lay out what exactly you want. A website design brief does just that! A good brief is important so you can get an accurate quote from your web designers, and maybe even some mock-up pages as useful examples of what you are looking for.
SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT
- This should include who you are, what your company does and why you need a new or updated website to provide a brief scope of the project and set the scene. Make sure to include the main aims and goals for your project. What exactly do you want to achieve - e.g. raise brand awareness, provide a place for customers to make a purchase, or just a place for your audience can find information about your product or service?
- It is useful to pull together some background information on your business to better understand your brand or service, and its history. Understanding the evolution of your brand is important to your developer so they know best how to represent that in the new project.
- If you have them, links to current websites are also good to include.
KEY STAKEHOLDERS AND TARGET AUDIENCE
- It is crucial to understand exactly who will be using the site. Who is your ideal visitor? How would you describe them - demographics, characteristics, needs, etc. What else do you know about them which might help with your website design?
OUTLINE OF WEBSITE CONTENT
- What information to you want to provide? As detailed a list of pages and subpages as possible will help provide a sense of structural needs and aid your developer in provide an accurate quote. Also, by mapping out what pages you know you will need you will get a better idea of what functionality features you will need.
- Also, if you have any preferred URLs, it would be worth noting here.
OUTLINE FOR WEBSITE FUNCTIONALITY
- In this section, you need to note all the types of technical and navigational functions you will need on your website. Here are a few examples of functions you might need:
- Logins / different access admin, membership, galleries, checkout features, bookings features, accounting, email marketing, videos, multiple languages etc.
DESIGN AND BRANDING
- What look and feel you would like your site to have? This should reflect the ethos and values of your company. e.g. modern, professional, luxury, creative, fun, playful, colourful… whatever suits you and your audience!
- Any specific branding colours, logos, guidelines, copyright etc. should be included in this section.
COMPETITORS / COMPARATORS
- Who are your competitors? Its good to provide some links so both you and your developers can see what you are up against in your market and how others are positioning themselves.
- Also include companies that are not necessarily in your sector but you aspire to their marketing efforts. Which websites do you like - and which aspects of those websites? So, provide any links to websites that you like, and you’d want to emulate. For example, this could be an aesthetic feature, a functionality feature or content.
MANAGEMENT OF WEBSITE
- How you plan to manage and maintain your website is also important to consider. With a good Content Management System (CMS) you are able to update your website regularly independently - e.g. you can update the news or events pages without having to go through your developer each time - giving you control if that is desirable to you.
- A good CMS enables you to retain agency over how your website evolves from the day to day – but don’t worry your developer can still be as involved as you need.
- A guideline of when you’d like to see your project progressing with a target completion date. Are there any particular milestones you want to achieve? Include them in your brief.
That's pretty much it! We hope this has provided a useful starter to creating a website brief. Marketing doesn't have to be difficult. For more helpful advice from See Green and other GrowthBox partners visit our Advice section at GrowthBox.