ou might already have a number of ideas about how you’d like your new website to look, feel and function. But if you don’t properly communicate your ideas, you could end up with a website that doesn’t fit the bill.
To avoid frustrations, get things right from the get-go by developing a detailed website brief for your developer or digital marketing agency.
In a hurry? Simply complete our website briefing form.
Website Brief | Part 1: Your Business
What does your company’s current audience look like? Give an overview of your customers’ typical demographics, including their age, location, common challenges and interests.
Not sure who your audience is, or want to target a new audience? A good digital marketer will be able to help you gain insights from your current website analytics and advise on how to gear your website’s content towards different demographics.
Is there something you love about your current website? Make it clear! If there’s an element you’d like to keep, let your designer know in advance so that they can factor this into the final project. Don’t forget to share your website URL too!
In less than 5 minutes you can provide us with all the information we need to give you an indicative quote for your next website project.
Website Brief | Part #2: Project Details
Let your developer know when you need the website project to be completed. Set a firm deadline to work towards (note: ‘as soon as possible’ is not a proper deadline!).
It can be helpful to set phased deadlines for different stages of the projects to allow time for testing and revisions, for example, first draft and final deadlines.
Keep in mind: most web projects take between one to three months to complete, but some highly technical builds can take more.
While most clients are hesitant to provide a budget, setting your expectations of costs at the briefing stage can save you and your designer a lot of time.
With a budget in mind, your designer will be able to assess which technology platforms are right for you. Remember, you’re paying for consultancy as well as a finished product: specifying your budget upfront will let your designer understand how much time can be invested on building your new website.
What information do you need from the designer to progress your web project? Would you like a detailed proposal or just an indication of cost? Do you need to see a mocked-up version of the website or are you happy to discuss ideas over the phone?
Advising this early on will help your designer to meet your expectations.
Want to write better briefs? Complete our website brief form as accurately as possible.
Website Brief | Part #3: New Website Requirement
New Website Purpose
What are your goals for the new website? How would you like it to perform? Common answers include raising brand awareness, generating more sales or increasing inbound leads.
Detailing how you want customers and clients to interact with your website is one of the most important elements of a good website brief as this will have the greatest impact on the final design.
Are there any important features you’d like your website to include? Consider, for example, whether the new website requires user profiles, the ability to book appointments or e-commerce functionality.
Again, be as detailed as possible about specific features you’d like your website to include, as each element will have an impact on the amount of time needed to progress the project.
Sites You Like… And Sites You Don’t
If you’ve noticed a website that you like, tell your designer. Be sure to explain exactly what you like about the website, whether it’s the layout, the user interface or great use of imagery.
Equally, if there’s a website that you strongly dislike, don’t be afraid to explain why. Using direct examples of existing websites is a quick way to help your developer understand your preferences and reach a shared understanding much more quickly.
Consider how you will use your website for marketing purposes. Will you retarget customers with paid ads or a newsletter, for example? Your designer should set up these capabilities before the new website goes live so that you can maximise its potential.
Website Brief | Part #4: Content
Good websites don’t just have great functionality: they have great content, too. The way your web pages are worded and presented can make or break your customers’ impression of your business. Consider the following factors…
Tone of Voice
What is your company’s personality? How would you like to come across to your audience? Professional? Friendly? Quirky? A consistent tone of voice will help you to better connect with your customers.
Remember that website copywriting is a specialist skill; look for a design partner that has in-house copywriting capabilities or who can source the right copywriter on your behalf.
How would you like your website to look and feel? Provide details of your chosen fonts, the kinds of imagery you’d like to use and your preferred graphic style. Your visual identify is one of the first things visitors to your websites will register, so it’s important to get this right.
Remember to share your brand guidelines with your designer, if you have them.
Drafting search engine optimised (SEO) blogs is a great way to generate traffic to your website. Let your designer know if you plan to publish blog content on your website, so that they can plan to build in this functionality.
Many web designers and digital marketers offer monthly blog content packages, so if this is needed for your website, be sure to include this as part of the brief.
Website Brief | Part 5: Future Use
How will you be using your new website after it goes live? Is it important that you can update it yourself, or would you prefer a hands-off approach? Including this information in the brief will help to inform your designers choice of platform and what level of training you need after your site is live.
Hosting and Maintenance
Do you have a web host in place, or would you like your designer to handle this on your behalf? Are you confident enough to keep the website updated and free of technical issues, or would you like someone to routinely check this for you?
Many designers offer a website support package to make sure your website remains at peak performance.
Finally, a good website brief will take time to complete, but it’s worth putting in the effort up-front, as it will make things a lot easier for you and your designer as the project progresses.
Want to write an effective website brief? Click here to get started.