Communicating with your web designer is no different to communicating with your accountant, your training provider and even your internet service providers. Each of these relationships is only successful when the service that is provided to you matches your expectations and requirements. The best way to communicate your expectations and requirements to your web designer is through a web design brief.
A well written web design brief summarises exactly what you want from your website, helping your designer to clarify what they need to do in order to meet your requirements. Writing a good brief can be tricky, and web design is often a peculiar subject, however focusing on these 6 simple things will ensure a hassle free brief-writing process.
The most crucial part of your brief, if you don't know how much you are prepared to spend for your website how can a designer know what to build for you?! If you aren't able to set an exact budget amount, try to provide your designer with a budget based on amounts that you are comfortable spending. Setting your budget at the start of the process eliminates those nasty extra costs at the end of the process!
What is your business all about? Although your designer may know what it is your business does, they won't automatically understand its inner mechanisms. Provide your designer with a good description of your business, its target markets and what differentiates you from your competitors. Only by understanding these minutiae will they be able to create a site which fits and improves your business.
Building a website is a detailed and often lengthy process, to ensure timely delivery strict timescales need to be agreed from the start of the process. Timescales aren't just indications for your designer however; you also need to make your internal team aware of the timescales to ensure that they meet content creation and delivery deadlines.
Your customers, both future and current, are the ultimate users of your website. Rather than focusing on how your site is presented to your customers, think instead of how you can help your customers and improve your working relationships with them through functionality and usability. Try to define your typical customers in your brief, what do they expect out of your website and how can you go beyond their expectations?
Updating your Site
How do you plan to keep your website updated? In order to succeed, you need to ensure that your site is regularly updated with fresh and engaging content to promote your brand and your business. Clarify the nature of the content that you will be producing, will you focus on written or visual content or a mixture of both? Who will be responsible for updating the site? Such clarification is necessary to find the best content management system for your website.
Websites that you like
Last but not least, what kind of websites do you like and why do you like them? Take some time to carry out focused and structured site research, think of the functionality and design criteria which you have set for your site and find the sites which best meet this criteria.