Professional web designers translate your ideas into a website. They’re a fantastic investment for folks who’re serious about building their brand.
But web designing isn’t as simple as ordering a meal.
You can’t commission a website and expect it to come out exactly as you envisioned.
Like any design project, you need to start with a thorough creative brief.
Ah, the creative brief. The genesis of all design projects.
From print ads to website projects — everything starts and ends with a creative brief.
Clients, like yourself, receive a creative brief before or after the initial consultation.
This simple, 1-2 page document is where you list down your project specs. It later serves as a guide for designers when they build your website.
Think of the creative brief as your website blueprint. When done well, it ensures that deliverables are precise and completed in time.
No two creative briefs are the same, but a good brief should contain the following:
- A clear overview of your company, products/services, and target audience
- Website goals and metrics
- A well-defined project scope
- Preferred designs and content
Introduce your business
How exactly do you summarise your entire business in five sentences or less?
Go with the basics:
- Who are you? (Talk about your business name and industry — e.g. retail, manufacturing, events and entertainment)
- Who are your target customers?
- Where are you located?
- Who are in the core management team?
When talking about your business, try not to focus on what you’re trying to become. Instead, think of who you are now.
The example above covers several bases — from the nature of the business, the services offered, and the target market. There’s also the main contact person. This makes it simpler to relay end goals, deadlines, or any project concerns.
Launching a website without a clear goal in mind won’t get you the sales. It’ll only become a liability more than an asset for your business.
You need straightforward goals first to build an audience and then gain conversions.
Goals keep your vision on track. It also helps you plan and gather the resources you need to achieve them.
Structure your website goals according to the S.M.A.R.T rules:
Marketing to everyone is like marketing to no one.
So define your target audience. It helps you create better brand messages. And in this case, it helps you set up a website that caters to the end-user.
To better think of your ideal customer, break it down into:
- Demographic: Age, gender, income, family situation, etc.
- Psychographic: Personality, interests, any design/website trends they could find most appealing
- Pain points: You may also suggest ways your website can address those pain points
Remember to stick to your industry or niche!
Talk to your current customer base, visit a forum, or conduct surveys to get to know your target audience better. The more information you have, the more tailored your website’s message becomes.
Scope creep is a common roadblock in project management. It happens when the requirements are ill-defined.
And when you’re not careful, it can sabotage your entire website.
Avoid this by creating a project timeline. This may not prevent some last-minute changes, but it helps you and your designer keep the project on track.
You’ll find that most designers use Gantt charts to oversee the latest developments and timelines. It’s also an excellent way to verify the requirements needed by both parties.
Your website architecture
As information gets easier to access, people’s attention spans get shorter.
And a cluttered website is one more reason visitors won’t stick around your website.
That’s what web pages are for.
A good web designer will know how to structure your website for users.
On your part, it’s all about providing the number of pages your website needs.
This includes — but are not limited to — the following:
- Product/Service Page
- About Us
- Terms and Conditions
- Contact forms
- Blogs (optional)
- Custom landing pages (for special promos, lead-generating content, etc.)
Now that you’ve specified the number of website pages, it’s time to think of the content.
Decide on what content your website needs — and if you’re going to write it yourself. Think of headlines, your ‘about’ page, business processes, product listings, etc.
If the final content isn’t ready yet, placeholder texts will do the trick. It’ll give designers initial content to work with.
Have a style or design guide ready? Now’s a great time to show it off.
Designers need any reference they can get to stay true to your brand. It helps to list down design inspirations you find online.
Also make it a point to ask if your web design package includes logos and graphics (stock photos, videos, etc.). If not, be ready to provide whatever’s missing.
A well-thought-of creative brief leads to a seamless design process. And of course, the most fitting website for your business.
For the designer, it’s an added gem to their portfolio. For you, it’s a quality platform you’d be proud to slap your brand on.
Remember: Take your time when filling up your creative brief. Give your designers the resources they need to translate your ideas from paper to screen.