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How To Write A Design Brief For Your Custom Web Design Projects

By Mellonie Francis Tue Jan 14

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How To Write A Design Brief For Your Custom Web Design Projects
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If you are reading this guide, it is likely that you have been assigned to write a design brief for the website of your company. If you are new to writing design briefs, you are in the right place. In this guide, we will take you to step by step to clarify the whole process. We have listed a few starting points, that will fuel the thinking process.

The process is broken down into different stages to help you understand better.

What is a Design Brief?

A design brief is prepared to guide the process of web designing. Make sure you place the design brief, and take into account all the important points before the designer starts working on your proposal. The brief should be as inclusive and intricate as possible. Remember to communicate your requirements clearly, so that you can successfully have a website that you envisioned.

Outline:

The web design company you hire for your custom web design will need to know your company’s background. This helps them to comprehend how they should design your website. When you are writing your company’s introduction, you should emphasize on the following points:

  • Brief description of the company
  • History and purpose
  • Establishment date
  • The product or service that your company sells
  • Company’s size for example, how many employees you have, estimated turnover etc.
  • Are you a local or international company? If you operate internationally, list all the countries
  • Any old or existing website, including social media pages
  • If you have any existing website, let them know the positive and negative points such as color themes, designs, graphics, contents and such
  • How much target audience did you reach from the old or existing website?
  • What level of traffic is it currently getting?
  • Where are most of your visitors from?
  • What type of devices do they visit on?
  • How has the website affected your overall sales?
  • Who manages and updates your website?

The aforementioned points are sufficient to let the web designers know where to start out. They will have good awareness of the strategies that worked for you, and the negative points. Once you provide them with the required answers, they will be able to prepare the right strategy for you. If you feel that any other information might be relevant to them, make sure to add it in the brief.

Requirements for the New Website

Decide what you need from the new website. To get to this answer, you need to examine specific areas. Focus on the following points:

·         State the main aims of the website – For example, if you want to reach a higher audience, increase the visibility of your product or services, get more sales, promote a fresh product or service)

·         Decide who you want your target audience to be – Consider the demographics e.g. kids, adults, social and economic status, area, etc. You should also analyze how this has changed over time, e.g. from your last website.

  • What is the purpose of your new website – is it to rebrand, or to promote a new product in the market?
  • Decide how you want your target audience to reach you – e.g. through phones or laptops
  • Consider any advertisement or marketing campaigns that might be running, that the website can connect with
  • What does your company specialize in, e.g. products or services?
  • What is the industry?
  • Who are your competitors, and what do their websites look like? (At this point, you can make a list of your competitors’ websites)

It helps to analyze the websites of your competitors. If you have an idea of what theirs look like, you can take steps to make yours look distinct. A unique customized website can easily make you stand out from your competitors.

Financial plan                                         

Budgeting is the most daunting, yet important part of the design brief. Estimate how much you can afford for the web designing process. If your designing agencies are aware of the budget, they are likely to give you similar quotes. When planning the budget, you can take into account the following factors:

  • Design and development
  • Support, maintenance, and development
  • Digital marketing and other marketing campaigns (This should be estimated for at least 6 months)

Determine how much you are willing to invest in each one of them, and let your designer know. Make sure that this is communicated clearly and in the early stages, so you do not receive any surprise costs.

Feel of the Website

The website should represent any offline branding or marketing campaigns that you may have. If you are able to provide your designer with annual reports or leaflets, it can help them to get a general feel of the company. You can research and get inspiration from other websites, as long as you are not blatantly copying them. We mean, the color themes, navigation, usability and such. There should be room for creativity and personal ideas. A custom web design represents your brand, and therefore, we recommend you make it as authentic as possible.  

Web Content

Once you have decided what purpose your new website will serve, it is time to start considering how to portray compelling messages through the content. Content creation determines the interest of your visitors. There are seldom any visitors who want to read long, irrelevant texts to get to what they want. The content on your website should be straightforward and should address the needs of your customers.

Do not duplicate the content you added in your previous websites. This is especially applicable if your old or existing website did not work out, as the content might be outdated.

Web design and development companies have content writers who can reshape the content for you, and make it much more compelling. Think about your target audience, and analyze if the content you have produced meets their needs?

Each page of your website needs distinct content that is relevant and easy to understand. Visitors want to be able to get what they want as fast as possible, therefore, the content should be simple and serve the purpose.

Along with simplicity, there should be a compelling element that entices the readers. Adding slogans and taglines can help to get the reader’s attention and attract them to your product or service.

Do not wait to delay this process until the final stages of the project. This should be done during the early stages. You should also ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are your readers?
  • How many pages do you want on your website – E.g. if you want to add a blog, you can put detailed content there
  • Do you have the skills and text that must go on the website?
  • Who will create the content?
  • Can you provide any guidelines?
  • Do you have the company’s photographs and videos?
  • Do you have a logo? (Consider the formats as well, such as PNG, PSD, etc.)

Technical Needs

Ensuring all the technical needs are met will keep the website running smoothly. Think about the following areas that you may require assistance in:

  • Domain – Whether you own it
  • Hosting
  • The type of website it is – Internet, intranet, etc.
  • Types of Servers – Windows or Linux
  • Who you are specifically catering to – such as people with special needs
  • Analytics – to determine the type of users you have

Upkeep

Once your website is completed, the work won’t end there. The maintenance needs to be consistent and any bugs or errors need to be addressed immediately. You will need to decide the person responsible for the on-going maintenance of the website. If you are going to hire someone for this purpose, evaluate whether you have the resources, budget and time to keep up with it. Furthermore, if the designated employee leaves the company, what are the likely consequences? Can you ask the web design and or/ web development company to help you handle the website’s maintenance?

Hiring a worker for maintenance can be costly, but it will help you to address all website-related concerns on time so that the risk of any further consequence is minimized.  

Advertisement

If you are putting money into building your website, you definitely want your customers to view it. This is especially true if you are launching a new product or service. There are various ways to advertise, and if you know the aim, your web designer can help you figure out the best ways to market the product or service.

Furthermore, you also need to advertise your website. In order for your customers to reach it, your best bet is to increase your visibility on the search engines. To achieve this, you need to consider adding SEO on your website. You can also run marketing campaigns on social media, such as Facebook, to reach the target audience. Other options you can consider are PPC, Display Network Adverts, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Affiliate Marketing and such.

Conclusion

Your design brief should end with a small conclusion, stating what you expect to receive from your web designing company. Make sure to include all the milestones and deadlines, and plan realistically. A web designing project can take a few days, depending on your project. Therefore, set a deadline that is feasible for the designing agency.

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