To gain a better understanding of what you want, not only for the Web Designer but also for yourself, it’s good practice to prepare a quick brief outlining your needs.
The brief should be simple and to the point. You want to explain what you want in basic terms whilst giving the web designer a good overview of what it is you actually want.
Overview (Why you need a Website)
When it comes to web design before you engage the services of an experienced web design or developer, you really need to know exactly what it is that you want. This will save you money in the long run.
What is the goal of your website? Is it to gain more customers? Is it to sell products? Is it a source of information? or just a piece of the puzzle in your marketing strategy? Outline exactly what it is that you want your website to achieve.
Content (Overview of what text and images you will have on your website)
Give an indication of how many pages your website will have – you could represent this in a flow chart or diagram or just simply a bullet point list. Also indicate the amount of text; will it be pages upon pages of scrolling text, hundreds of photographs or a few paragraphs on each page. If you have your content already organised then you could add it to your brief as well.
Functionality (What are the main functions of your Website)
List all the things the website does. Some examples include:-
- shopping cart – eCommerce
- do you want to update it yourself?
- blog or news articles
- Image galleries
- members only login area
- subscribe to newsletters
- contact forms
Target Audience (Who will use your website)
Make a list of who you want to target your website to. Be specific and don’t just say “Everyone” (babies cannot operate computers- maybe one day..).
Think of the typical user in terms of (note not all may be applicable):-
- Age Range
- Sex: Male or Female or both
- Social Standing
- Language Skills
- Education Level
- Computer Skills
- Computer type (will they have the newest and best, or the oldest)
Determine who your competitors are and prepare a list or their websites. In terms of their website, determine what you like and what they do poorly.
Design (how you want it to look)
Outline what is essential to have in your website, whether it be certain colours or elements of your branding. Give examples of website styles you like – there may be parts you like especially about a website parts you don’t. They don’t have to be related to your industry as well.