WHY WRITE A BRIEF?
Writing a design brief can sometimes feel a bit daunting, one of those tasks you know is important, but keeps getting put off – sometimes because it can be hard to know exactly where to start.
Writing a comprehensive design brief has many advantages, and in some cases it’s essential. A design brief should enable an agency to fully understand the scope of a project, required functionality, history, audience goals etc. Essentially all the important facets of your project. From your brief, a design company should be able to respond with intelligent solutions and a detailed, accurate quote.
A design brief is not just for large scale and complicated projects, smaller projects can benefit from well written briefs as well. The more information and understanding an agency has on the scope of the project, the more likely they will be able to come up with more suitable solutions.
SOME PITFALLS OF A BRIEF
A design brief doesn’t need to supply a web design agency with all the solutions; this is a trend I often see in briefs. It is perfectly ok not to have all the answers, that is partly why you are commissioning a design agency. As tempting as it might be supply both the problem and a solution in your initial brief, you’ll find this can restrict the creative process.
EXAMPLE OF A GOOD BRIEF
Not every design brief will be the same and the following points are aimed to be a guide. This list can be added to, amended or changed to fit your requirements; but hopefully it provides a handy way to get started.
It’s useful to get to know a bit about your company. This might include:
- The products you sell or the service you provide.
- A brief history of your company.
- A brief description of your company/brand. One way you could do this is to describe your company in 5-10 words (for example, vibrant, young, vintage, technology based etc).
- What are the unique selling points of your company, your products or your services?
- List a few competitors websites.
The new website
We will basically need to know as much as possible about your requirements for your new site. Include anything that you think might be useful or important. Some of these pointers might help.
- Outline the aims/goals of your website (e.g increase traffic/increase product awareness, generate more sales etc).
- Is the new website part of a re-brand or a new product launch?
- Are there any websites you currently like/influenced by? Give reasons why (These sites don’t have to be related to your industry.
- Is there any specific functionality the site is required to perform. If so, explain in detail as far as you are aware what this would be.
- Are you selling products/services directly on your site. If so, give details.
- Do you have any brand guidelines/promotional material that the new website design needs to comply with?
- Who will be responsible for generating content for the new site? ( Text, images, video etc)
- Are you generating new content for the new website?
- Do you currently own the domain name(s)? Do you have access to managing it/them?
- What is your current hosting situation?
- Who will be editing/maintaining the site on a daily basis? Do you require ongoing site management/support?
- Do you have any specific editing requirement ( editing groups with different permissions? teams or editors etc)
- Are there any specific technical requirements that you are aware of?
- What is the budget for the design and development of your site?
- Do you have a budget for on-going support and maintenance of your site?