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Why write a website brief

We are asked to quote for a new website at least 5-10 times per week.

Our first reply when asked for a quote is always “Do you have a brief for the project”

Why would we answer a question with a question. Is it not bad form for us to push back on the client straight away to deliver more information?

In this post I would like to answer why it is essential for anyone looking for a website to first create a good website brief.

WHAT’S A WEBSITE DESIGN BRIEF

A design brief is a written document that summarizes all the relevant information about a project. As it includes an outlined strategy for the project, it’s an essential piece you need to have before starting any design work.

A brief sets the guidelines of a project, including background information, goals, requirements and technical directives so that every person involved in it can work towards the same purpose and find the information he needs in order to achieve it.

THE 3 FUNCTIONS OF A BRIEF
Why is a design brief so important? A website design brief serves 3 big functions:

  • Before the project starts:
    As a contract within the two parts.
  • During the project development:
    As a guide to the work you need to do.
  • At the end of the process:
    As a reference to the result you were supposed to achieve.

That means the brief will go along with you all the way. You need to make it your best friend.

Why a website brief is so important for the client and why the client should create the first draft

  • Explain your business – No web development firm can understand your business as well as the people in the business itself. The brief is your opportunity to tell a web design firm about your business
  • Define Project – It can and should be used before, during and after the project as the definition of the project.
  • Lower Quote/Cost – A clear brief often will result in a lower quote – why? because the website developer will know exactly what is needed and do not have to build any unknown factors into their costs
  • Comparable Quotes – If getting multiple quotes, each firm will base the quotes on your brief and not their own interpretation of your needs
  • Exploration – While creating the brief, often new ideas/features can be discovered and included in the website
  • Control – By going to a web development company with a brief it puts you in control from the start. Rather than asking a web development firm what sort of website should we have – is an open invitation for some firms to try to oversell what you really need.
  • Solves Problems – a good brief will help identify potential issues with your plan that you can discuss and resolve with the web developers before the project begins
  • Saves Time – If you need your website delivered by a certain deadline then a good brief will help reduce the risk of overruns

If you want to get started please head over to our brief form here