What is a website brief and why do you need one when building a new site?

Web Design

The first step in building a new website (or redesigning an old one) is having the ability to properly communicate what you want to the designers who’ll be designing the site. It means articulating your vision in a way that’s properly understood and integrated in the end-product.

A web design brief is one such way of conveying your ideas effectively because it:

  1. Provides a detailed description of all the requirements you have.
  2. Acts as a guide for the designers and helps them stay focused on your goals and needs.
  3. Allows you to gather all your ideas in one place and make all the needed decisions in advance.

But what should the brief include exactly?

A description of who you are

For anyone to be able to design a website for you, they need to have a clear understanding of your business, what it does, how big it is, where it has presence, how it was created, what its core values are, and ultimately, what you’d like the website to achieve.

This information will provide the web designers with a better idea of who they’re working for and provide inspiration for what the site will look like (visual brand identity) and how it will work (UI and UX).

The reason you need a website

There are several reasons for building a website including boosting brand awareness, enforcing a more current visual identity and online presence, increasing sales, promoting a product or service, etc – and these must be clarified at the beginning of the design process. Other elements to consider are:

  • Will different language and page layouts be required, dependent on products or service offering?
  • Call to action buttons – what they will be and where will they be placed?
  • Will you need blog, news, events, calendar, map functionalities?
  • Will integration of 3rd party systems/API’s/feeds be required?
  • If you want an ecommerce site, what shipping options or payment systems do you need?
  • Will the website require a registration form and a login form? Will multiple user access be required?

At QoboWeb, based on research, content, graphical language, and wireframe design – individual page design will be crafted for each menu. Page designs may differ considerably depending on the menu items. Particular importance will be placed on promoting the differentiating features of the company.

Identify your target audience

You need to understand who your customers so that your designers have a clear understanding as well. This includes all demographical information (age, gender, industry they work in, job type, level of seniority, and so forth), geography (where they are), where they will be accessing your website form predominantly (mobile devices or desktop), etc. Providing this feedback will ensure that your website is designed in a way to attract, engage, convert and retain the right customers, boosting sales and improving ROI.

Branding guidelines

Your new website will need to abide to your existing branding guidelines to reinforce a consistent perception of your company. This means providing your web designers with clear instructions on how the website should conform to your business’ overall brand identity. This includes factors like colour scheme, fonts, icons and all other visual aspects of the website which must align with current PR and marketing collateral.

The creative process undertaken by QoboWeb web designers will ensure that the graphical language from the brand is embraced throughout the website. This will include colours, fonts, straplines, and any other graphical language element.

High-quality content

Accompanying your brief should be the content that you want to appear on the site. This ranges from product/ service descriptions, blog posts, news or event items, marketing collateral, photographs, video content, and anything else you consider important to include. At QoboWeb, we also spend time sourcing the best videos and images for you from multiple video and image databases, should you require. You will also need to provide the designers with your logo and corporate identity pack, usually in vector format.