Many clients ask us ‘how do I write a website brief.’ By asking yourself some basic holistic questions about the new site that you or your company wish to create you can form a good website brief. Obviously past the initial website brief, meetings and deeper dialogue with your web designer will unlock the full extent of your website. But to start with, and most importantly, to balance the budget with the scope of work, a website brief is essential.
The most important and foremost question you should ask yourself are ‘The Big 5’. The following questions will help you to formulate a good website brief. Each question will stimulate much content for your brief.
‘THE BIG 5’
- What is the main use / target objective of the site?
- Who are the target audience of the website?
- Is there any ‘Call to action’ that needs to be addressed on the new site?
- What does your target audience need from the site – both in terms of visual experience and information, what’s the users ’take-home’ experience?
- Are there any industry competitors that you feel do a good job of presenting and representing your market sector through their web presence?
Answering these five questions at the very outset of your brief will be fundamental to shaping the website brief. Following on, the next questions will dig a little deeper to help further.
- Do you have a current website? What do you feel works well on this website?
- What do you feel doesn’t work well on the current website?
- What should be retained on the current site?
- What size do we anticipate the new site being? 20 page? 30 pages? etc etc.
- Will any content be carried over to the new site – Like the blog/news or perhaps case studies / projects?
- What functionality might be needed on the new website (Will you be selling / merchant account, is there to be a booking facility or perhaps a members area, will there be any forms?)
- Will your website be responsive? (It should be)
- Will your staff be updating the website, using CMS (Content Management System) or do you see the developer helping you here?
- Will the site have staged developments? (Future functionality that needs to be thought about at the inception to allow build stability)
- Are there any websites that you have seen that you like the aesthetics of / find visually stimulating that would be relevant to the tone of the new website and could help with the brief?
- Will you require content to be reviewed by a copywriter?
- Is this site being done in conjunction with a re-brand?
- Do you have any brand guidelines or documentation which could help explain your values, existing styling, dos and don’ts?
- Is SEO important to your company?
- Will you will want to have existing URLs re-directed to relevant ones on the new site as not to lose inbound links?
- Will the marketing of the new site be done in conjunction with PPC (pay per click), Social Media, email marketing, content marketing, traditional direct mail, PR, Advertising, Sponsorship?
- What are your current schedules / timescales for this new site?
- Do you have a budget in place for this initial design and development / ongoing support and maintenance?
- Where is your current site hosted? Do you require the developer to host your site?
- Who are the project contacts, Who will be the single point of contact for development control and approvals?
We hope that this is helpful for you in creating your website brief and we are always happy to quote on a website brief if you wish to submit it to us.