Writing a Website Design Brief that Works

Posted 12 October 2016 in Website BY Jonathan Poynter

I need to write a website design brief that works, where do I start?

Commissioning a new website is a daunting task. It used to be as simple as briefing a designer on a new corporate brochure (not that that task should ever be taken lightly). The modern website, however, is a complex beast. It is now the cornerstone of any brand.

Your website is probably the first face from your company a new prospect will encounter. Your website may in fact be the company shop as well. At the very least, the website has to compete for attention effectively in search engines and at best it will become a prospects' “go-to” tool for solving problems or keeping abreast of industry change.

Developing a website design brief should start with a workshop of key stakeholders and they should look to answer some if not all of the following questions. Only then can you move on to what the design should look like.

What key functions is the website going to have to achieve?

  • Sell our product
  • Attract new customers
  • Service repeat customers
  • Engage new visitors (“give them something they want” and create a healthy exchange of information)*
  • Assist our resellers
  • Provide information to stakeholders
  • Other

If the answer is more than two of these, then decisions need to be made as to which function takes priority to meet the business objectives of your organisation before developing your website design brief. Of course all objectives must be taken into account, however it helps to prioritise these before the brief is given to a developer.

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Each of these key Functions should be discussed and careful note should be made of the specific mechanics required of each function. E.g. If it is sell our products, a clear set of distinctions should be included in the website design brief. Distinctions such as: what products, how the buyers currently experience buying these products online, what level of information is required and what responses does the customer get before and after they purchase.

If writing a website design brief is on your agenda this year, start with the exercise above or better still, have an experienced Digital Marketing Agency workshop this phase with you.

To assist you with this process, we have developed a great guide for busy managers that covers all the key areas you will need to consider before handing the brief to a professional.

Get yourself up-to-date on all the aspects you need to consider for your website design brief. Download our FREE eBook: '25 Website Must-haves for driving traffic, leads and sales'.

Download Free eBook '25 Website Must-haves'

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Jonathan Poynter

Jonathan Poynter

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