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Creating a good web design brief

Published on June 29, 2012
Tags: Web Design London

When it comes to creating a brilliant web design, this job is made considerably easier by a good quality, comprehensive brief. It helps to know what clients have to work with, what they want – and what they don’t. This allows us to create a web design that is exactly what they’re looking for. With this in mind, there are certain things that a brief from a client should include to help your web designer meet all of your expectations.

The purpose
First of all, what is the purpose of your web design? Do you need a new website created entirely from scratch or is this more of an update of an existing website? Is it going to be an ecommerce site or for information purposes? Other key details, such as whether you want to incorporate discussion boards or any other specific features, are also very useful to know about.

What to avoid
It can also be very useful to know what a client doesn’t want from their website, just so it’s clear from the beginning what needs to be avoided. For example, you might have had a particular feature on a previous website and found that it didn’t work as you wanted it to, or not liked an aspect of your old design that you now want to eradicate. Even if what you want to avoid is simple things like certain colours or styles of font, it all helps your web designer to get a much clearer idea of what you would like from your new site.

The timeline
Something else it is very important to include in your brief for your designer is your preferred timeline for completion. This helps to give your designer an idea of how much time they have to work with, and making it clear right at the beginning means that any issues with meeting your preferred deadline can be raised straight away.

For instance, if you have a launch that you would like your website to be ready for – it isn’t uncommon for businesses to launch their website at the same time as their company – it’s definitely worth putting this in your brief. If you do have a specific launch date in mind for your site, it also makes sense to get in touch with your web designer as soon as possible so they can have enough notice to get everything done in time.

The style and look
Of course, your ideas for the design of your website will always be one of the most important elements of your brief. Some people have more definite ideas than others about what they’re looking for, so you don’t necessarily need to be too specific, but it is nice to get a feel for the kind of style and designs that you like. For instance, you could include examples of websites that you really like, or highlight existing company graphics such as logos that you would like to be incorporated into the new site.

If you will need things such as logos designing as well, it’s useful to know about this so that the work can be built into the rest of the design process.

The audience
Something else to consider is who your audience is going to be, as this could have a significant impact on the design. For example, what is the typical demographic of the people you are intending to target with your website? Will they be professionals, other businesses or members of the public?

If you aren’t sure about the kind of people who will be looking at your website, think about who your current customers are – and who your ideal customer would be. This can help to tailor the design of the site to better meet their (and your) needs.

The ‘business’ bit
Finally, your brief for your web designer should also ideally include some information such as the budget you have available for the site. One of the reasons for this is that it will allow your designer to work out whether what you want is possible for the budget you have in mind, or whether a compromise might need to be reached to ensure you get the best deal possible. Then, once everything is clear, your designer will be able to move onto the job of designing a website that perfectly fits your brief.

By Chelsey Evans

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