Ask any digital agency and they’ll tell you that a key pillar of website project success is the quality of the initial website design brief.
But briefing a web design or digital agency can seem like a daunting and time-consuming process for marketers, so laying out all of the key information a brief should include in a template is a great place to start. Investing in the initial brief ensures all key project stakeholders are aligned whilst making sure that when you first reach out to an agency, they will be able to get back to understand your requirement as efficiently as possible.
As an agency, we know that a good web design brief can help to uncover the ins and outs of a client’s requirements, and when reviewing a good brief we can almost immediately identify if the project is a good fit for us. If it is, then a good brief gives us all the initial information we need to put together a proposal with accurate timeframes and costs.
Ultimately a good brief will lay the foundations for an agency to eventually create a website which doesn’t just look great, but is going to deliver return on investment in alignment with the key measures of project success.
Want the easy option? Jump straight to our free web design and development brief template – download it here.
Website design brief definition: what is it and why bother?
A website design and development brief consists of key information that help to flesh out a project in its various parts. This usually includes the project’s origin, objectives and KPIs, the client’s business, products or services, existing website, and what the timelines and costs for delivery should be. It’s also a useful way to explain the wider context of the project, key stakeholders and expose any friction points which might need to be tackled during the project.
A good website design and development brief can help to drastically shorten a project lead time—when we have a good understanding of what you want from your website, we stand a far better chance of producing an ideal concept first-time, meaning less revisions, less scope-creep and a much faster, smoother project overall.
How our design brief questions help create your perfect website
Here’s a basic overview of the kinds of questions we ask in our design and development brief and why the information is so important:
Understanding the business or organisation
Our design and development brief starts by asking some basic questions about your business or organisation, such as its origin and where you want to take it in the future. We also like to ask questions about your USPs, target market and customer personas, too. Understanding you and your customers is the first step in creating a tailored site that will address your unique needs and achieve with project KPIs.
It’s all about results
Our design brief template goes on to identify what the need for the project is and asks you to outline the main project objectives and how success would be measured if these objectives were met. This usually includes things like enhancing the position of the brand, business or organisation, increasing conversions, generating more leads, increasing engagement or improving functionality.
Looking at competitors
Any thorough web design brief should also include information about your competitors, as well as your own business. This is so we can isolate how to create a unique point of difference within the market and to see how other businesses that share your space are communicating with their customers and carrying out their marketing.
Looking at your current site
Before any improvements can be made, we need to understand the status of your existing site. We’ll be asking questions about the functionality, the sitemap and the CMS so we know just what we’re working with and which areas can be improved according to the brief objectives.
Time & effort
All of our web design projects are completely bespoke, so understanding the timeframes you are looking to work to and the budgets available for the project will allow us to suggest the best implementation solution.
Getting started on your next project
We know articulating what you need from a website design project can be tough— you might know what you want, but communicating those ideas can be tricky and there’s a real risk of important details being lost in the process. Our advice is to break it down into sections and work collaboratively with other colleagues to consider the key elements that make up a brief.
Our free website design brief template can be downloaded here to take all of the pain out of this process for you!