How to Write an Excellent Website Design Brief

Getting a new website or doing a revamp of your existing website? This guide will help you explain to your designers what you really want.

Website Objective
What is the objective of your website? If you are selling a particular range of products, make sure that the product is visible on the first page of the website.

Excellent Website Brief - Clear Purpose

It is always good to have a couple of paragraphs about your company and the products or services you provide. Be it in the About page, or the Home page, make sure the users of your website do not need to take long to find out what the website is about.

Target Audience
Who will be the users of the website you create? It would be good to be specific on your target audience – define the age group and the profile. Are they adults from 20 years of age to 40 years of age? Are they white-collar salaried workers, or perhaps people working in a specific industry?

A website that is customised for the users will be much more effective and appealing to them. The users are your customers, potential customers – you have to cater to their needs and wants. If time permits, you might also want to do some market research or usability testing on what your target audience prefers.

Navigation & Site Content
It would be good if you can elaborate on what you wish to have on your website. It could be a catalog of products, or the latest news and promotions, on the homepage or perhaps in a page on its own. Let your designer know exactly what you want so they can organise the content clearly for you.

The navigation of the website must also be kept clear and simple so users will not have an issue accessing and going around your website.

Brand Identity
Do you want to make sure your website gels with your other advertising campaigns such as your brochures, catalogs etc? The branding of your company should be inline across all your advertising, including your online advertising such as websites, banner advertisements etc.

If there is a particular set of colors and/or fonts which you can use, make sure they are followed accordingly.

Excellent Website Brief - Follow Branding

Competitors & Example Sites
List a few competitors sites so your designer can reference on what is already out there in the industry. In this list of the sites, you should also highlight what you like about it, any functions which draws your interest or design features that you like.

You may also wish to quote a few example sites (not necessarily from the same industry), so your designer will know what look and feel you would like your website to have. This is help save time when they are creating the site. Your examples can include what styles you do not like so they can avoid them.

Technical Aspects
Do you already have a domain name and hosting space for your website? Let your designer know what is the server your website will be on, so they can decide what programming language they will be able to utilise.

Nowadays, the trend is for the sites to be accessible on mobile devices such as Apple iPad and iPhones. Make sure you highlight your requirements to your designer to ensure your site will work on the devices you need.

If you have a fixed budget for the website, you might want to consider bringing it up to the designers so they can try to tailor their recommendation to meet your expectations. Functions such as back-end content management systems will not be advisable if your budget is tight.

Updating the Site
After the site is done, who is responsible for updating it? If you need help with maintenance, make sure you highlight that to your designers, so they can take note when creating the site.
When deciding to have a content management system to update the website on your own, think about how often you need to update the website and who will be the staff updating the website.

Finally, let your designer know the timeline of the project. When is it due for launch, so they can advise accordingly.