Obtain an accurate quote by writing a clear brief!
In order to present our customers with an accurate quote, we need to gather some information from you regarding your company and it’s goals for the website project. Please read the questions below and try your best to answer as many questions as you can. Not all the questions will be relevant to you, but the more detail you can provide, the more accurate your quotation. Please email our team with your answers and we will do our very best to provide you with a true and accurate quotation.
Taking the time to create this document ensures that both the client and designer are singing from the same hymn sheet throughout the design process and leaves no room for second-guessing, assumptions and mistakes. As a client, the intrinsic result of writing a good brief is that you have considered in great detail what you want to achieve from the project. Your expectations are far more likely to be realistic and the communication during the process of building your site will run smoothly.
Here at OneDigitalMediaUK we have produced a set of questions will help guide you through the process of writing a brief for a website design company. It’s not the definitive list of what you will need (and some questions to not apply to all businesses types), but it’s certainly an excellent starting point and will serve as food for thought.
Writing an Introduction
Most website design companies (including OneDigitalMediaUK) will need to know a bit about your company in order to get a feel for how we should design your website. A good starting point would be to list the following:
- What does your company do?
- What are the short term and long term goals of the business?
- How do you differ from your competitors?
- Describe the company using six words (e.g. young, vibrant, technology based etc)
- Who are your customers and prospects? (e.g. ages, social class etc)
What is your budget and timeframe?
By being open and frank about your available budget and timeframe, your designer can create a realistic proposal and work schedule for the project and manage your expectations from the start.
The old website
If you have got an existing website firstly let the us know the website URL and then answer the following questions:
- What is good about the website? (i.e. the written text, photos etc)
- What is bad about the website? (i.e. old colour schemes, out-dated design, not user-friendly etc)
- Who is currently responsible for updating the old/existing site?
The new website
You must now examine what you need from the new website. So a good starting point would be to consider the following:
- Outline the aims of the website (to increase traffic, improve product awareness, offer e-commerce, advertise a product).
- Is the new website part of a re-brand or a new product launch?
- What are the unique selling points for your company, your products or your services?
- List a few competitors websites or websites of which you hope to compete with in the future.
The look & feel of the new website
The website should be an extension of any offline media, advertising or branding that you have. It is always helpful to be provided with a brochure, some marketing literature or the annual report to help get a feel for the company, so include them with the brief if you can.
- In order to get an idea of the kind of site that you like it is worthwhile noting three or four websites that you like. Not necessarily competitors or sites related to your industry – just give a few example sites that you like the colour schemes of, the navigation layout or the interactive elements. Please specify what you like about each design.
- Do you have your own photographs? (i.e. photos of your staff, store, products or services?)
- Another area that is always overlooked is copy writing. Have you got the textual content ready? Well writen content / articles are a valuable SEO tool to help increase page rankings.
- What pages do you want and how many roughly? (A bullet point list of page titles / menu items).
- Do you want to send out e-newsletters to your customers?
- Do you require social integration with your networks? (i.e. Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook etc)
- Do you require a site search facility or any product filters (i.e. ‘search by size’)?
- Do you require a ‘Google map’ on your contact / how to find us page?
- Do you require an online form? If so what form fields / form questions will you require?
- Do you already have a domain name for your new site?
The ongoing maintenance of a website is an often over looked aspect of the website design.
- Who will be responsible for the on-going maintenance of the website?
- Do you wish to be able to update the website yourself? If so what control do you require?
By answering all of these questions above you would have written a great design brief. However sometimes physical sketches of page layouts (sometimes referred to as ‘wireframe’ sketches) can really help designers understand your specific requirements in a visual format. You may wish to provide these type of sketches/drawings because visual plans can often speak a thousand words!