A website design brief is the first step to having a new website created by an agency. The brief itself involves sitting with your website designer and going through a series of questions that will help them understand exactly what you’re after and to identify your web design preferences.
Often this can seem like a daunting task, but follow our tips and your website design brief should be a fun, productive, and memorable experience.
#1 Know your goals for the website
The first questions your website designer will ask you are “what are your goals for the website?”. Knowing your goals is good practice as you need to fully understand why you’re undertaking your new website build (your goals) and how the new website is going to help you do this.
The goals of business owners vary widely, but typically fall into one or more of the categories below.
- I want to generate enquiries
- I want to sell products through my website
- I want to look professional
- I want to look like an industry leader
- I want to provide my clients with important information
- I want to build a membership base or mailing list
- I’m selling the business and I want to increase its value / make is easier to sell
- I want to attract new employees
You may have website goals outside of those listed above, however the motivation behind 98% of websites will fall in one or more of those categories. Knowing where you want to go is needed to work out how we are going to get there.
#2 Know Your Competitors
Knowing your competition online is important. It gives your website designer an insight into how the big players in your industry are working and helps them work out how you are going to differentiate yourself to stand out from the pack.
A good web agency will also look into what your competitors are doing in terms of online marketing to educate you on the ways you can compete in your market and attract your share of the potential pool of customers that need your products or services.
We suggest putting together a list of your top 5 competitors and writing down their website addresses so your designer can look them up during the website design brief. When looking at your competitor’s websites start to have a think about what you do and don’t like about their sites so you can discuss this with your web designer.
#3 Bring Website Design Examples
Often it’s hard to explain what you like to your web designer during the brief. To give you a helping hand we suggest putting together a list of 5 or so websites that you love the design and functionality of. Try to think about why you like each website and pinpoint the elements that you like the most.
The more descriptive you can be, the better your designer will understand your preferences and will have more of a chance in getting your designs perfect in a smaller time frame.
The website examples you pick don’t necessarily have to be from your industry, they will just act as a reference point for your web designer to help them understand your vision.
#4 Have Website Copy (text) Ready
Website copy or text is often one of the biggest hurdles to getting your website design completed. In many cases you can simply use the copy from your existing website if you have one, but if you are undertaking your first website build or you are adding pages that did not exist previously you will need to start getting your website copy together before the web design brief takes place.
We stress the importance of having your copy ready as without copy (in many cases) the website design brief will take place, the client will sit down to write their copy, and the whole web design process will be held up for weeks while the copy is being written. The last thing you want is to start designing your new website and then have the design process grind to a halt due to missing copy.
By having the copy written before the web design brief, your designer will know what they’re working with and can make tweaks the the copy if necessary to fit it in with required design elements.
We suggest writing 300 – 500 words per page as a rule of thumb. If you feel copy will be too hard to write yourself, don’t forget you can have your copy written for you. At The Honest Agency we often write copy for clients as it saves them time and speeds up the web design process.
#5 Have Your Logo & Assets Ready
Before heading into your website design brief, make sure you have your existing logo design ready to go. Your logo needs to be in vector format or at the very least a high resolution Jpeg and PNG version that the designer can use within the website that they create.
If you have a brand guideline or style guide bring this along as this helps the designer nail the look and feel of the website by tying it in with your existing brand. If you don’t have a style guide don’t stress! Just let the designer know what colours you like and they can work it out from there.
If you’re a startup or don’t yet have a logo in the vector or high resolution format our designer will be able to create you a new logo design for an additional fee.
#6 Remember Why You’re Attending
Don’t forget however that you have employed a web agency to design and develop your website because you want a professional job done and you want the website to achieve your goals. Try to take into consideration the years of experience your web designer has and remember that listening to their advice is in your best interest if you want your website to work towards meeting your goals.
Your web designer will take into account your design preferences for example colours, fonts