How to write a brief for a website

The first step in creating a fantastic website is to write an equally awesome website brief.

Your old website

One of the first things you should do according to an article on the ‘Method and Class’ website is to brief the developers on important information regarding your old website. These include:

-What is good about the web site? -What is bad about the web site? (i.e. old colour schemes, out-dated design) -How long ago was it built? and who built it? -What levels of traffic is it currently receiving? -What percentage of the traffic is from smart phones & tablets? -Which countries are you visitors from? -What are the top 5 web browsers and platforms (Mac/PC/Android/iOS) visiting your web site? -How often do you get a genuine sales lead through the web site? -Who is responsible for updating the site?

Your company

It is also advisable to let the web development company know about your company.

Some suggestions include:

-A couple of paragraphs about your company -The products your sell or services you provide -The size of the company – e.g. the number of employees, a rough turnover figure (if you want to provide it – there is a lot of difference between how a £100,000 company and a £100,000,000 company should look!) -Are you an international company? If so, which countries? -How long have you been established? -Describe the company using five or ten words (e.g. young, vibrant, technology based etc.)

New website

Now that the developer is clear about your company and the old website, it is time to brief them on how exactly you want the new website to be like.

Useful questions to ask include:

-Outline the aims of the web site ( e.g. to increase traffic, increase product awareness, generate more sales, offer e-commerce, advertise a new product or service) -The content of the new website

> What are the unique selling points for your company, your products or your services?

-The look and feel of the website

> In order to get an idea of the kind of site that you want, it is worthwhile noting three or four web sites that you like – not necessarily competitors’ or sites related to your industry, just give a few example sites that you like the colour schemes of, the navigation, or the interactive elements.

-Who is the target audience?

>Has this changed from the old site? What are the demographics (e.g. children, adults, social class, income levels, location, etc.) >How will your target audience be accessing your site – via their phones, tablets or desktops? >What industry are you aiming the web site at? >Is the market already saturated with competitors? >List a few competitors’ web sites.

Other important issues to take note of

Apart from designing the website, other key issues to bear in mind include:

-Budget: How much funds do you need and how are you going to get them?

-Promotion: How are you going to promote the website? >Is the new web site part of a re-brand, or a new product launch? >Is there other advertising taking place that the new web site should tie in with?

-Maintenance: The ongoing maintenance of a web site is an often overlooked aspect of the web site’s design. >Who is going to be in charge of maintaining the website? > Do you have the skills, resources and time to maintain the web site in-house?

Conclusion

You should finish your web site design brief with a short conclusion, outlining what you would like to receive back from the design agency.