Create a Web Design Project Brief that Agencies will Love You For
So you have taken the bold step to actually create, revise or radically change your website and you’ve decided to call in the experts. The big question is where to start. What do you actually need and want? You may have some really specific ideas or maybe you haven’t got a clue what you’d like the end result to be. Either way a great first step is writing a web design project brief — getting this right will result in the end product being right. Get it wrong and it will result in something being created that may not achieve your goals in building or growing your business, and you’ve had to pay for it!
It helps everyone
Part of the goal of a web design project brief is to allow you and the agency to quickly gauge whether you’re suited to one another before going further down the rabbit hole to discuss specific project details. If the agency cannot work within you budget or timeframe then you can easily move onto the next agency who can. If your project medium is not an area the agency tends to work in then they can quickly inform you of this. No is not a bad word. It can help us all avoid wasting time, creating or reviewing long detailed project documents, before we even know if we’re even able to work together.
What’s the goal of the design brief?
There is an overriding temptation when writing a project brief to put as much down on paper as you can, and give it over to the creative agency. By doing this though you are risking the agency interpreting things incorrectly and producing something that is costly and not right for you. An agency doesn’t actually look at a 20 page briefing document and instantly think “great lots of information”. Agencies do creative work for a living so they don’t need a document full of inspiration telling them how you want your website to look. They are there to advise you on what will work best to help you achieve your goals. Leave them to do the creative research for you once you have decided they are the right agency for you. Agencies need clearly defined goals.
- Do you want to generate more leads?
- Raise brand awareness?
- Increase your sales?
“We’re drowning in information and starving for knowledge.”
RUTHERFORD D. ROGERS
Less is more
Nobody knows your business as well as you and a creative agency needs your knowledge and expertise, filtered down to specific goals, to help guide them. So before you sit down to write your project brief just take a step a back and ask yourself a few simple questions.
- Do you know what your overall objective is for this project?
- What specifics do you want to communicate?
- Do you know who your audience is?
It’s also really important to include all the boring but necessary stuff that helps an agency gauge if they are a good fit for your project or not. Yep you guessed it — what is your budget and what are your timings! They may seem like really obvious points but sometimes they are omitted or a little vague. Each agency has different staff levels, budgets, profit margins, etc., so just leaving them to give you a price means you will get vastly different prices from everyone. If you wanted to buy a new car, you would give the car retailer a budget range so they can provide something that works for you. Otherwise he might waste your time showing you cars way out of your budget.
A good brief should be able to fit on one sheet of A4 paper. By providing a simple yet focused web design project brief you are ensuring from the start that your project is directed down the right path and the agency isn’t getting bogged down or sent off course researching irrelevant information.