The Importance Of A Website Design Brief

As a Digital Project Manager for a busy SEO & Web Design agency, I am creating and working with website design briefs on a daily basis.

The importance of a website design brief cannot be overstated. It could seem frustrating at first; you may see it as having to repeat information you have shared in your initial sales conversations with an agency or web designer. However, a website design brief is the cornerstone for a website project. It is a point of reference for you as the client to ensure your agency deliver what you asked for, it is the way for the project manager to ensure that all members of the design and development team are working towards the same goal with the same instruction, and it is a point of reference for the project manager throughout the project to be able to ensure the website project is fulfilling the instructions that a client has given them.

Hopefully, all parties will understand the necessity of investing the time to create a brief and why it ensures that the end product will be much better because of it.

Our design brief document is extensive. It covers a number of different topics, many of which you’d expect. An effective web design brief would always include questions such as:

  • What colours do you want us to use, just your branding colours or do you want to change things?
  • What imagery should be used (e.g. stock or your businesses own photography from a photoshoot, for example)
  • Which logos or accreditations need to be included (are you Investors in People perhaps, or registered with the GMC
  • Do you want to include reviews from a platform like Trustpilot or Feefo?
  • What is the main call to action (do you want website visitors to book a free consultation, download a PDF document, or purchase something)
  • Who are your key competitors and what are the website features on their sites that you like? (Get in touch with us for an Embryo Graph about your key competitors…)

But, our design brief document & conversation also includes a few further details that I think are really important to make sure that I get the most information from my clients;

  • Who are your key competitors and what are the website features on their sites that you don’t like?
  • What are the key services the website should promote (for example, the products or services that provide the most ROI)
  • What do you want people to say about the website?
  • What is the most important thing to you about the new website?  
  • What do you like about your existing website and why?
  • What don’t you like about your existing website and why?
  • Why do you want a new website?
  • Who are your existing audience, and why?
  • Who are your target audience, and why?
  • How does your existing audience differ from your target audience?
  • What are the key company USP’s – aka why should your customers choose you over your competitors?
  • Which are your favourite websites to use which are outside of your industry? Check out the awwwards website for inspiration!

Asking the more emotive and seemingly ‘irrelevant’ questions can seem like it is taking the conversation on a tangent, but actually, this is where the most important information can be discovered. The more I can learn about your taste, your likes, your dislikes, and your reasons for wanting a new website, the better I can represent your voice in conversations with the designers and developers who will be physically creating the site. Your project manager has to get inside your head as much as possible so that when the website is starting to come together, the feedback they are giving their team is the same feedback the client would give.

You will hear more from me on website design processes and procedure over the next few months! Let me know if there is anything at all we can help you with on your website project on [email protected]


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