A Client’s Ultimate Guide to Answering a Web Design Brief
Article by Danielle Guerrero and ShiMeng Wang
Graphics Design by Ryan Rivera
What is the main purpose of a web design brief?
A web design brief is a document that clearly defines the details of a web design project and it goes by many names. At Verz, we call it a “web design questionnaire”, but others refer to it as a creative brief, design brief, or a project outline. Its main purpose is to extract as much information as it can to help the designers have an in-depth understanding of your company and the industry it’s in.
An excellent website sprouts from a great web design brief. Whether it be a web development project, rebranding or logo service, it guides all parties involved in building your website. A clear and concise brief reduces errors and miscommunication to ensure everyone is on the same page.
When engaging a web design agency, try to check if the brief is detailed, client-oriented and has specific goals. As a client, you must communicate exactly what you want your designer to produce.
In this article, get to know the information designers and developers need from you, why they are important, and how understanding them can point you towards achieving your project goals.
Explain your business
Explain your exact trade and industry in a direct and detailed manner for your designers to get a good grasp of your business.
Start off with your position in the supply chain— are you a producer? a distributor? or retailer? Then go on with your innovations and other company profile details such as your customers, competitors, partners, products and services. These will play a big part in helping your designer narrow down the details on what kind of website is most suitable for your business.
What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
What are your featured products or services? What are your newest models? These are essential questions that answer which information needs to be highlighted and consistently woven throughout your website.
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is what sets you apart from your competition, and the determining factor that persuades customers to choose you over your competitors. Help the designers take note of the main unique services or products that your customers will get. Ideally, placing the main focus of your business as the first thing visitors see when they are on your website can help users read on and drive traffic to your other webpages.
If there is a particular hierarchy of importance in how you want the information to be displayed on your website, share it with your designer on the web design brief as well.
Identify your target audience
Designers serve as your liaison to communicate with your customers. The deeper your understanding is about your target audience, the better your designers can mould your website accordingly.
If you are a B2B or corporate brand, then your website will need to have a clean and professional approach, as opposed to being a B2C or a casual brand that should exude a friendly and approachable feeling.
To pinpoint further who your target audience is, you may describe your customers by their age group, social class, geographic location, interest and affiliations. Are your services for budget-conscious students? Do you offer a hangout place for trendy teenagers? These details can be used in your taglines to solidify your message.
Show your reference websites
If you have a hard time explaining how you want your website to look like, reference websites can help designers visualize what your website’s ideal look and feel is.
At Verz, reference websites can be chosen from the designers’ existing projects, so you get an idea of what their respective working styles are. References from competitors’ websites or any website that you like can really help your designer understand your needs better, but a mixture of both a Verz-made website and a competitor site will give your designers a more well-rounded idea of your desired look. If you have more specific needs for each page, you can also point out multiple references from various websites.
Why colour theme, fonts and visuals matter
Other than reference websites, providing your preferences in detail will greatly help your designers. Rest assured that your designers will propose their suggestions based on what they think is best for your website, but knowing what you want from the start can make the whole design process will go a lot smoother.
- Colour Theme. A suitable colour theme is vital for your website as it is what visitors will associate with your company and brand. Different colours evoke different emotions and associations in people, for example, Verz’s dominant colour, orange, represents friendliness, energy and creativity. Most social media companies like Facebook and Twitter use blue which is associated with trust, reliability and harmony. Pick a mix of colours that accurately represent your company. Competitors usually go for distinct colours to be differentiated by their audience, so your colour theme should set you apart from other companies in the industry.If your company already has an existing colour theme, let your designer know so they can strengthen your company’s identity on your website.
- Fonts. Similar to the colour theme, the font type also contributes to what customers associate with your company. Picking the right font type makes a huge difference in whether the site looks corporate and professional, or friendly and casual. For example, Serif fonts like “Times New Roman” are associated with tradition, reliability and comfort, while San Serif fonts like “Arial” represent modernity and minimalism.You can discuss further with your designer on what are the best fonts for your company, but it’s good to have a general understanding of what font best goes with your brand identity.
- Preferred Visuals. An attention-grabbing website cannot go without photos. If you already have photos you want to use for your website, send them to your designers. If not, your designers will help to select appropriate stock photos. If you can indicate your preferences for the type of stock photos you prefer, it will greatly help your designers to design your perfect website. For example, if you want people-oriented photos, do you prefer to use Asian Corporate Executives or a more international profile of Corporate Executives?It’s important to understand why these details matter and how they impact your website’s design as it can largely reduce the time it will take for conceptualisation and drafting.
Things to avoid on your website
You have full flexibility and freedom to customise your website according to your likes and dislikes. While looking at reference websites, do note down what are the features you don’t want for your own website. There is nothing wrong with trusting the process of your designer and curating the output later on, but telling your designer what you don’t want saves both parties time and resources.
Would you like a banner on your home page? Do you want to exclude certain colours? Are pictures of children suitable for your company’s image? You know your company more than your designers. If you know certain designs don’t suit your company, share these “NOs” in your web design brief.
If your company has any special details that will set your company apart from your competition, be it awards won in the past, important milestones or famous clients, do bring it up to your designer. These details should be displayed prominently on your website so your visitors are aware of your achievements and retain their attention. If you have any testimonials from customers, include it on your website as testimonials instil a sense of trust in the company and let potential customers know what they can expect.
This guide helps both you and your designer push through the project hassle-free. However, nothing beats a good dialogue between a listener and a sharer. An awesome design service has all the ears for your design needs and knows the right questions to ask.
Answering a Web Design Brief is worthwhile with Verz
At Verz, we employ a highly collaborative web development process. We require our clients to share clear inputs from start to finish to ensure that every stage delivers according to their needs.
Need help in your web graphics? Want a new website that reflects your company image? Or a blog site to hook your customers into your products? Verz is here to listen to all your needs! We tailor our services to your requests for that astonishing collaboration you’ve been looking for.
Consult with us to get started on your own website. Hit us up at 6841 1680 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation!