Spending time thinking through and planning out your requirements prior to engaging an agency or freelancer to design and build your website is time well spent. This will help you solidify in your mind what your non-negotiable requirements are, help you feel more in control and ensure a better collaborative relationship with your agency/freelancer from the outset.
It can be tempting to jump straight into the aesthetic elements and how you envisage your new website to look. However, as with any design project, clarifying the strategic intent and functional requirements should come first.
Here we run through the key elements for consideration when creating a website brief:
An overview of the bigger picture
It helps, in your own words to state what your business does, who your target audience are and what the goals for the business are. Where does the website fit into your business strategy? What does your brand stand for?
What you have now
Make sure to communicate to your website developer/agency from the outset your current set up – this could include:
- What platform your existing website is on
- Third party integrations
- Inventory management
- Point of Sale set up
- Existing Google Ads/ Shopping campaigns
Other important information
- Domain name registrations
- Existing hosting arrangements
- Email set up
- How large is your inventory?
- What countries do you sell to? Do you require multi-currency and/or multi language?
- What shipping options do you require?
Project management & timelines
Who from your business will manage the project? Who has authority to make decisions? Are there any specific deadlines to work towards? What are your budget requirements?
An evaluation of what does and doesn’t work
Provide a pro’s and con’s of your current website - do you currently have any analytics to support this?
Goals & Objectives
Following on from the evaluation of your existing site you’ll then be able to prioritise the non-negotiables versus nice-to-have requirements.
Articulate what it is that you want visitors to your site to think, feel and do. Be specific – are you wanting customers to buy there and then online? Do you want them to create an account?
Inspiration & aesthetics
Be sure to supply any brand guidelines or specific elements of, for example, packaging designs - elements that helps demonstrate the aesthetic of your brand.
It is also useful to provide examples of websites that you admire (from any sector), stating the specifics of what it is that you like and why.
The more specific and clear you can be at the outset, the more this can help ensure an enjoyable development process with open communication. You’ll end up with a website that meets your needs, exceeds your expectations, and, above all, functions and performs well to meet both your and your customer’s needs.
If you would like to discuss a website development project with us then please give us a call on 01242 236600 or drop us an email – firstname.lastname@example.org