Posted by Michelle in Website Design

How to Create a Website Design Brief

Design Brief

Image Credit: Logoglo

At the beginning of any design process, it`s essential that you have your requirements down on paper so when you start speaking to your website designers you can tell them exactly what you need. Although this may change as you start the conversation it acts as a great place in which to start and allows you to to put your early ideas down.

Website design brings numerous wants and needs as a company, and adding in more stakeholders can make a simple project more complex – so ensuring all parties have a say and you come up with clear goals with help you in the long term.

So, in order to help you create your design brief and to ensure you get all the information required when discussing your website design project, we’ve created a very simple template to help you get started.

About the Company

  1. Company name.
  2. What does the company do?
  3. When was the company established?
  4. A brief history of any changes – did you change direction?
  5. Where is the company based?
  6. How many staff does the company have?
  7. What is the annual turnover?
  8. What are your short- and long-term business goals?

About the Project

  1. Why do you want the website?
  2. What are the goals you want to achieve with this website?

Target Audience

  1. Which industry sectors does your company work in?
  2. Where are your customers based location-wise?
  3. Who is your existing customer base?
  4. Who is your ideal customer base? Describe them.
  5. Who are your main competitors?
  6. What do you want your customers to do when they reach your website; buy a product/service, make an enquiry?

Your Existing Website

  1. When did you get your first website?
  2. How much traffic does it get per month, or year?
  3. What devices are used to access your website?
  4. How many sales or enquiries does your current website generate per week, or month? Do you want to increase this?
  5. What’s wrong with the existing website? What would you like to improve upon?
  6. What do you like about the website?
  7. Does your existing website represent you and your brand well?
  8. What do you need to keep from the existing website for your new website? Are you happy to re-do the whole thing, or do you wish to keep some bits?

Your Brand New Website

  1. What do you aim to do with the new site? What are your goals for it? (Increase traffic, raise your brand, generate sales, etc.)
  2. How many pages would you like your website to be?
  3. What key features would you like to include? (E-commerce, events calendar, interactive map, blog, etc.)
  4. What content needs updating frequently and who should do this? Are you able to do it in-house or would you like a web agency to sort it for you?
  5. Are there any specific requirements that you need, such as allowing access to multiple users?
  6. What is the website’s Call to Action? (Generate enquiries by contact form or phone? Purchase a product or service?)
  7. Do you need to integrate with any third party systems?
  8. Does the website need to be available in other languages, and who would you like to do that?

Looking to the Future

  1. What are your plans for the business?
  2. Are there any features for the website on your wishlist that you can’t afford right now?
  3. How will the website cope when new content is added?

Content

  1. Have you thought about giving your content an overhaul before you move it across to the new website?
  2. Do you need to take some time to review all your content on your current site?
  3. What new content needs to be written, and who will do it? Again, can you do it in-house or do you wish to hire someone?
  4. What images have you got, and what do you need?
  5. Have you got decent video clips and downloadable documents to add?

Design Brief

  1. List 5 words to describe your company.
  2. What are your Unique Selling Points (USPs)?
  3. Describe your company values.
  4. What other material do you have for your company? (Flyers, brochures, stationery, etc.)
  5. Which other websites do you like or aspire to be like?

Marketing

  1. What other activity will you be doing online? (SEO, Social Media, etc.)
  2. What other activity will you be doing offline? (Brochures, flyers, etc.)
  3. Do you wish to also rebrand your business? Do you need a design agency for this?

Budget & Timescales

  1. Do you need the website to be done in any specific time? Provide a start and end date, and work out each specific step.
  2. Do you need to stick to a budget?

Maintenance

  1. Who will update the website? Are you going to do it in-house, or do you wish to outsource it?
  2. Which bits need updating regularly?
  3. How much input do you need from the web agency?

Technical

  1. Do you require a web host?
  2. What domain name is being used for the new website?
  3. Do you require email? (More than likely not, but worth asking!)
  4. Do you have any preference of platform to build the website on?
  5. Do you have a payment provider set up if you require e-commerce?
  6. Do you have any specific requirements? (Slow connection, high level of accessibility, etc.)

Contact

  1. Who is the main point of contact?
  2. Who will be responsible for the content?
  3. Who needs to be involved in the project?
  4. Who will be involved in sign-off at each stage?
  5. Who will update the site?

Design Brief Image

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Image Credit: Seller Deck

And, Finally…

Don’t forget that this website has to fit in with your overall marketing goals. The image above shows exactly how important this extra piece of documentation is in the grand scheme of things, so you really shouldn’t skip this step. Good luck, and I really hope this template helps you to improve the creation of your design brief!

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