In the world of online business, things are done a little differently than the traditional ways. The internet completely changes how your business functions from the ground up, so it is important to understand the way online business works.
For a company that is just entering the online realm, you will most likely need the services of a digital agency that will handle the creation, management, and growth of your website. To approach an agency, you must have a properly constructed web design and development brief.
The right brief is going to give any digital agency a much easier time of developing your website to the standards you require. This is going to include everything from overall goals, to your budget, and even the type of content you are going to need. It is essential to take your time with these documents and make sure everything you can think of is included in some form.
Below you are going to see some great tips to ensure that your next web design and development brief are done properly and effectively.
What Exactly is a Web Design and Development Brief?
This document is going to be everything that a digital agency needs to be able to get your new business website off the ground. Without a good web design and development brief, there will be no foundation for your website. It is going to include the following:
- An Overview
- Goals and objectives
- Style, function, and technical requirements
- Content guidelines
Have a Complete Overview of the Project
This is going to be the part of your brief that brings everything together, and it is key to make sure it has as much relevant information as possible. You should start by explaining exactly what your business is and what products and services you sell. This will give the agency a better idea of the overall scope of the project.
Tell them exactly why you have drafted this proposal, not every situation is the same and they need to know where the business stands. Maybe you are a brand new business venturing out on your own for the first time, or it could be that you are an established business trying to shift their focus and strategy.
The agency is going to need to know this so they can plan your project properly; everything from function to web content is going to depend on this overall concept and overview.
Create Goals and Objectives
Once you have figured out the general purpose and outline of your proposal, you must then start to break it down into meaningful goals and objectives. These goals should be unique to your business and its current market situation. Depending on what you are striving for your these could include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Increasing overall web traffic
- Becoming more user-friendly
- Developing from the ground up
- Increasing internet sales
- Promoting particular products or services
It is very important to have a vision of where you want your business to be after all is said and done. Having your goals and objectives laid out is going to give the agency a better understanding of exactly what you need.
Figure Out Your Audience
The most important part of running any successful business is knowing your customer base. You can have the best products available but completely flounder because you are not targeting the right consumers. This process is going to consist of a lot of customer research from various avenues. It is essential to figure out who is going to be buying your product so you can construct your website and marketing efforts to attract them,
Social media can be a very good source of information on your consumers, as people tend to be pretty open with what they like and follow. A tried and tested method of doing consumer research will always be the survey. With how easy it is to complete surveys online, you can have a very steady source of consumer research if you choose the right survey company.
Regardless of the avenues you choose to figure out your audience, the important part is that you learn everything you can about them. This is going to give you a much-needed boost for designing your website the right way.
Decide on Your Style
If you have been paying attention to consumer research, you should be able to have an idea of what kind of style will attract your demographic. Designing a website to suit your key demographic is essential to make them feel comfortable and invited. This is not going to be a cookie-cutter design like an apartment building, you need to show your unique personality and flair while maintaining an overall style that is appealing to your current and potential customers.
The style is going to include everything from the fonts and colors you choose to the layout and overall navigation of the website. Your digital agency should be able to give you some great direction on this if you work together and communicate your needs well. If your customers find your website easy to use an appealing it will give you traffic that stays longer and makes more purchases.
Look at Function and Technical Aspects
This particular part of the brief could certainly fall under the style category, but to really design a great website you really should look at this separately. Your number one concern here is going to be how your customers will most likely be accessing your website. Younger generations are more likely to use mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, while some older ones will prefer a home computer.
If the budget allows it is always best to focus your efforts equally between mobile and PC, but that, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. You should have your demographic figured out by this time, and this information will help you decide on any functional requirements. If your target demographic is older you would certainly tweak the way your site navigates to make it easier for them.
Content is Key
Having the right content on your website is going to be, by far, the best way to attract potential customers. The best writing services on the web charge a pretty penny for their work, but that is because it is going to be worth every one of those pennies. Excellent content is going to help you gain traffic from many different sources.
Think of how you want to add new content or make changes to the existing in the future. Will you cooperate with the design agency long-term and trust them to manage your content? Or, if you want to do it on your own, you might want to consider using a CMS with your website.
Social media is now the king of digital marketing, and the right content is going to attract a lot of social media users. You must hire writers that know exactly how to grab an audience’s attention and have them wanting to share. Anything can quickly blow up and go viral when it is marketed the right way.
You also need to think about traffic from Google and how the right content will be search engine optimized. The proper content is going to have just the right wording, in the right places, to rank your website higher on Google. The higher up you are; the more traffic you are going to get on a daily basis.
Draft a Budget for the Project
There is a reason why you do not draft a budget at the start of this process. You can certainly have a total dollar amount in mind, but you need to break everything down with your digital agency so you can figure out priorities. If you are a new online business you will be spending a much greater portion of your budget on marketing and brand awareness than a company that has been around for 50 years.
All of this is going to depend on your unique situation, your brief, and input from the agency you choose to work with. The most important thing to keep in mind is not to slack off on any part of your web design and development brief.
If you put the work into the design brief, the budgeting portion should be much easier to take care of. You and your agency can discuss the priority areas and assign an appropriate percentage of your budget.
An Effective Brief Can Make All the Difference
Regardless of where you sit in the business world, if you have decided to start or manipulate your online presence you must come at it prepared. The amount of competition out there for online businesses can literally grow on a daily basis.
There really is no room for error when you are developing your website, and it is essential to understand this from the very beginning. The more work you do on your web design and development brief, the better your chances of quickly growing your online presence.
The rules in online business seem to be constantly changing and evolving, but the one thing that doesn’t change is that hard work and preparation pay off. Take these documents and their contents very seriously, and they will help your chosen digital agency design a website and marketing campaign that suits your needs.