Having a website for your business is a big deal. Websites are usually the main means of communication between a brand and a consumer. There, customers can learn information about a brand, view and purchase its products, and contact customer support.
Of course, the more responsive and agile your website is, the better customer experience will be. And, surely, the more features you want your website to have, the more you have to pay. On average, it costs small businesses from $2,000 to $10,000 to design a website, and the price goes up substantially if the website is made for a well-known company or a corporation.
To make sure that this money does not go down the drain and you get everything you expect within your budget, you and your web designers need to agree on a blueprint with a detailed description of every stage of website development.
A web design brief can work great in this case because it contains all the essential details of your cooperation with a web design agency and outlines all the KPIs necessary to achieve the result you want.
So, today, we’ll take a look at the three essential parts of a web design brief and how to write them properly.
1. The Introduction
Before you start talking about money and when you need your website done, you need to provide the details about your business, the niche, and the industry, as well as some other details that a designer might need when working on the project.
Let’s take a look at the information you might want to include in the introductory part of your web design brief.
An overview of your business
It doesn’t matter whether you have an in-house web designer or outsource website development to an agency, the outline that describes your business is essential for the success of the entire project.
Here’s the thing. When working on a website, designers take into consideration the goals that a business has, as well as its industry and niche. All this information can even impact the colors used for the website design.
So, if you want to get the result you expect, make sure you include the essential information about your business by answering the following questions:
- When did you start your business? What prompted you to do it?
- Where does your business operate? How big is it?
- What are your products?
- Who are your main competitors?
- What are your mission and values? How do these values differentiate you from your competitors?
- Which message do you expect your website to convey?
Keep in mind that the website will also tell a story of your brand, so make sure the designer has all the information you want to share.
The description of your target audience
Your website is also a marketing tool and will not deliver any results if it’s not focused on the needs of a specific audience.
That’s why a web designer needs at least a basic description of your target audience persona, which you can do by giving brief answers to the following questions:
- Who is your typical client?
- From which niche and industry do your clients come from?
- Where does your typical client live? Which language do they speak?
- Which problems are they trying to solve with the help of your product or service?
- Which needs does your audience have that a website should fulfill?
Here, you can also give a few details on what your audience expects from your website. You can do a survey prior to writing a brief and include the results to substantiate your claims.
Web design expectations
You can divide this section into two subsections.
In the first one, try to give a brief overview of the problems that you want your website to solve. Answering the following questions might help:
- Do you want your website to generate leads and drive sales?
- Is your goal brand awareness?
- Which business function will your website support?
- What are your likes and dislikes about your current website (if you have one)?
Next, list the features that you expect to be on your website. It is also important to include the number of pages you want your website to have and the name for each of them. For instance, if your website will be for an online content writing service, make a blueprint of it, giving each name a page, e.g., “pricing,” “our writers,” “write my paper,” “examples of work,” etc.
There are other important web design aspects that you need to include in this part:
- Color scheme. Give suggestions as to what color palettes you want the website to use based on your logo and other features that differentiate you from your competitors.
- Website add-ons. List which integrations your website will include. For example, if you decide to create a newsletter subscription form with Formkeep or any other add-on, make sure you notify your designers about it.
- Outline of the interface. Provide your notes regarding the website interface for your web designer to have a better idea of what the final product should look like.
In addition, you can give some examples of the websites from your niche that you like to provide more context.
2. Outline of the Budget
You need to know exactly how much money your business can spend on website design, especially if you’re outsourcing this task to an agency. If your budget is extensive, an agency will be able to spend more time developing the UX for your website while doing only the basic features if the budget is low.
So, before writing a web design brief, make sure you meet with the agency to discuss their pricing and allocate the budget for every stage of website design – research, content production, design, testing, etc.
Apart from that, you also need to let the agency know who else is working on website development and how much money goes to pay for their part of the job. For example, you might want to hire professional writers from services like Supreme Dissertations or Classy essay to write content for your blog, so you need to mention how much money you spend on every task related to website design and development.
Your web design brief should also provide information on how you will measure the project’s success. Define the KPIs that the web design agency will need to follow and which will show that the project has been successfully completed.
3. Project Timeline and Key Contacts
Finally, break down the entire project into smaller milestones that will define its timeline. You can also have the web design agency report each time they complete a milestone and, according to these results, measure the success of the entire project.
It is also important to list a few communication tools that you and the web design agency will use to report on the progress as well as to tackle some routine issues. Make sure that your web design brief contains all the necessary contact information of the people responsible for this project within your company as well as from the web design agency. It will make your cooperation easier and less stressful.
Don’t Disregard the Importance of a Web Design Brief
Web designers know how annoying it is when they have to repeatedly ask for essential information from businesses when working on a website. Besides, without basic business details, a designer can’t make a website you want because they simply can’t predict your expectations.
So, before your cooperation starts, sit down with your web design agency and discuss what essential information you can provide, and then include it into your web design brief. Everything, from basic business details to color pallets and budgetary expectations, has an impact on what the final result will be.
Author bio: Donald Fomby is a professional writer. He’s a freelancer working for various writing services, and his articles mostly focus on marketing and helping businesses do successful brand development.