When you need a new website to promote your business, a good agency brief is vital. Similar to a business plan, the website design brief is a detailed document guiding you for the entire project. Unfortunately, there is no industry standard for writing an agency brief to design a website.
Writing an agency brief before the project starts is important to compromise terms and conditions. Some of the briefs focus on explicit details and others focus on business values and philosophy. Basically, an agency brief for new website should cover everything a client want from the design team. It can explain and direct the creative team about what the client want every single button on every single page to do.
Most of the time website design briefs that agency receives can be incomplete or inconsistent.
To avoid this situation, take your time to provide all the necessary information and make notes with strategic thinking. It will help you to follow every step of the project through the delivery time and also have a modern, subtle and mobile integrated brand-new website.
You can create a design brief document in various file formats such as PDF, Google document, PowerPoint or Google presentation. If you come to terms with the design team on everything outlined in brief, consider having a kick-off meeting to start the project.
Company and business information
A proper website design brief should include your company’s background information because the agency needs to know everything about your business. Describe your company’s mission, history, size, locations, and any future plans.
These pieces of information will help the design team to understand you and your service better.
Objectives & technical details
What do you aim with the new website? Be specific in the website design brief. You might want to raise brand awareness, improve online presence, increase sales, generate leads, etc. Make clear statements about your objectives. You can share your old website to show which parts you want to retain or don’t like.
If your project is on a larger scale, then you should give specific details about the site’s technical features and requirements to avoid scope and additional costs. Do you need user logins? How will registrations be handled and managed?
What will be on the user dashboard? Is this an e-commerce site? If so, you should describe product categories, required payment – checkout methods, shipping cost calculations, shipping tracking, discount codes, etc.
When you need to integrate your site with external feeds and API’s you need to give detail through actual examples. You should give information about what data and search criteria will include for user profiles. If you have in-house coding guidelines, you should also share it with the design team.
Identify your target audience & users
Who you want to reach and who is your customer? Describe the type of people you want to target through your website. Thus, the new site can be designed for those exact people. For existing customers, you can make some market research.
To determine the customers you want to reach with a campaign or project on this new website, you should share demographic information and behavioral insights with the design team.
Design & tone consistency
The new style and tone of your website should align with your brand and its objectives. These key elements also need to be consistent with your projects and what you are trying to achieve.
Keep in mind your strategic positioning and the key messages you want to give your customers. If you want to create a landing page for a competition, you would probably want lively design and messaging to attract and inspire people to enter.
Design briefs vary related to the field. For example, to write an effective graphic design brief, you may need to add other details in addition to a generic design brief. Here you can also watch this video if you want to learn what makes a good graphic design brief:
Have knowledge of your competitors
Be aware of the main competitors in your industry, and overview what they are doing, what trends they follow and then make a comparison.
You can tell what do you like about their website designs, and you can send a list of color schemes, typography, layout, photography or unique tools attached with links and reference notes.
Timing & budget
In the website design brief, you can set a specific timeline for your project. During a kick-off meeting with your agency’s designer, you can discuss the deadline. It’s also a good idea to talk about the overall project, and creative process or anything needs edition.
You can see whether or not the possible editions included in the fixed-price contract. If the designer’s estimate exceeds your budget, you can talk it again and agree upon project costs beforehand.
Hosting & maintenance
You can make a hosting arrangement with your agency for your site, or you’d prefer to choose an alternative hosting service. Share the details with your agency and determine how much support you require for your new website.
The hosting setup should be fast, secure and providing you regular backups.
In this article, we mentioned about 8 things to consider before writing an agency brief for a new website design. If you need guidance or further information about how to write an agency brief document for marketing you can check this blog post.