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Guide to Writing an Outstanding Web Design Brief

Guide to Writing an Outstanding Web Design Brief

More than words and ideas are needed to impact your business. Instead, you need an appealing website design that represents your brand identity and makes your business successful. Therefore, you frequently need to start with a design brief if you want to create something distinctive. Working with a designer or a design firm can assist in changing the presence of your brand in various ways.

In this post, we'll get some great tips and tricks on how to write an outstanding web design brief. But before this, letโ€™s first understand what a website design brief is and why it's crucial for everyone involved in building a new site. Here is your step-by-step approach to making a standout design. Let's get started.

What Is a Design Brief?

Web Design Brief Example

A great web design brief clarifies the expectations for a design project for both the customer and the designer. It outlines the objectives, deadlines, budgets, and client needs. Any design brief should outline critical deliverables and give the designer a thorough understanding of the company and its rivals.

The web design brief's goal is to ensure that everyone involved knows precisely what is anticipated regarding project workflow, deliverables, and post-launch services. Moreover, clients receive a more precise estimate of costs and timelines from the brief. This came about as a result of early process identification of all essential needs and deliverables.

Businesses use design briefs for a variety of purposes. They can want to start a project for branding or rebranding, establish a new marketing plan, or create a website.

Who Should Write a Web Design Brief?

The company often develops a website design brief after finalising a contract with the web design customer. It's critical to recognise a few crucial pieces of data that can keep your project on schedule and within budget. Web designers who offer to create websites for potential customers can also do this. However, in these instances, the finished product is known as a web design proposal. 

Essentially, the creation of the brief must involve all pertinent project stakeholders. However, the client should be expected to do most of the work. As a project management tool, the brief can be used to control expectations and maintain the timeline for the task. Additionally, it can help avoid scope creep, which is the unintentional expansion of a project's scope and goals beyond what was initially decided.

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Why Is It Necessary to Write a Web Design Brief?

Your design brief is essential for communicating your needs if you are the client. With a brief, even the best design studio in the world can begin work on a project. 

For a few reasons, you might decide to work with a website designer:

  • You require a website and design assistance to launch the project.
  • A makeover of your current website is needed.
  • You want to expand your online presence and add features, including eCommerce.

An intense web design brief also aids in:

  • Point out any areas where your thoughts or resources could be improved.
  • Lessen the possibility of costly erroneous assumptions or oversights.
  • The project will move more quickly since it eliminates the need for a drawn-out discovery process and brings everyone on board.
  • Increase your chances of success by controlling expectations and foreseeing issues in advance.

Writing a design brief for a website differs from writing one for an interior design project or a marketing campaign. It will ensure you and your designer are on the same page and assist you in conveying your specific thoughts, ideas, and goals.

What Information Should Be Added to The Web Design Brief?

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A design brief contains much information, but you must ensure your brand is effectively communicated. Although professional DevOps services can produce unique products, you must become more familiar with your business, audience, objectives, or rivals. Therefore, create a design brief template that is thorough and clear. Make it the standard document for all of your upcoming projects. There shouldn't be any room for misunderstanding because doing so could result in project changes that cost additional time and money.

If you need help with the layout, you can readily find design brief templates online. We've outlined the procedure below; continue reading to help you make a good design brief.

Give A Brief Explanation of Your Firm

A firm profile or business summary is the most crucial component of your brief. The direction and commercial objectives of the project will be determined by the brand, its values, and its goals. The whole team must be familiar with these essential points. Also, include all the stakeholders. This is especially useful for contacting the concerned person for various deliverables you may need to advance the project and for responding in case any problems arise.

Besides this, any growth strategies should also be a part of this brief template. Doing so will allow the design team to lay the groundwork for any changes in the future.

Create A Project Overview

The second important thing is to define your website's scope and all its deliverables. A design brief with a thorough background of your project will ensure that everyone knows all of the requirements of a successful final project. The following are a few examples of what you should include in this section: 

  • Do you need to redesign an existing website or want to create a brand-new website from scratch?
  • Along with any projected deliverables, a project overview must provide the website design and supplemental benefits like a logo, unique email address, or content.
  • Potential difficulties that could occur and how they will be handled
  • Some information about what is outside the purview of this project
  • The expected level of participation of the client in the design process
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Moreover, you should mention the voice or tone of the site's content, which applies to both the text and the images. In addition to a list of essential website functions, you should include any special items linked to the client's branding.

For instance, you'll need to identify crucial components the design must have to succeed. This could be a basic contact form, social network integration, or Call to Action (CTA) buttons.

Establish The Project's Objectives

The third important step is to learn the website's objectives or the issues it is meant to address once you know what the project entails. This guarantees the design is efficient, adheres to the project's parameters, and concentrates on the client's top priorities.

The following are some examples of objectives a client's website fulfils:

  • Amplify brand awareness
  • A responsive and accessible website can help you increase your online visibility.
  • Boost sales and subscriptions
  • Create inquiries and leads
  • Create a blog, paper, or online course to serve as a source of important information.

Whatever your objective, make it evident in your web design brief. To assist you in achieving that aim, your web designer should be honest with you and provide the ideal solution for your website.

Include a few design inspirations and examples!

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Business owners typically solely consider their project when drafting a brief or developing a new project. They only provide designers with material that is directly linked to their projects. But in addition to that, it's crucial to offer some design ideas and samples. Look up related design projects, decide which you like, and add a few of your preferred examples to the brief. They will assist the designers in creating designs that go above and beyond your expectations by helping them better understand what you anticipate from the project.

Design examples are colour schemes, fonts, textures, patterns, themes, or ideas rather than samples of projects that are comparable.

Determine the Website's Target Market

Moreover, determine the website end-user, including demographic, firmographic, and psychographic data. Age, gender, values, work title, media consumption patterns, and other pertinent information that may reveal what may resonate with them most are essential things to know.

All this information will help you create a website that efficiently targets its intended audience. However, you have to obtain this information on your own if your client needs to have it readily available. In turn, this will allow you to increase sales of your user research service.

Research and Understand Your Competitors

To produce a high-quality web design, getting familiar with your client's rivals is a good idea. A thorough competitive research will help you identify crucial elements that distinguish your website. You can start by looking at their websites to learn about their companies and distinctive selling factors. Also, examine their online platforms to track what they do correctly and incorrectly.

Furthermore, include essential features that could also be useful to your brief. Keep in mind that rival businesses can provide helpful information. Record any consumer concerns your rivals cannot handle, and try your best to address these concerns in your design. Moreover, remember to include links and reference notes to ensure everything is clear.

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Define Required Specifications for Websites

It's time to concentrate on more specialised elements of your new website once you've defined all the fundamental criteria. Including all necessary technical specifications and needs upfront is beneficial to avoid making numerous adjustments later. Doing so may keep the client's costs down and prevent scope creep.

So, clearly stating what you want from your new website will give you a better result. Your designer can do a far better job if you can help them grasp your unique needs.

Some elements to add to this include: 

  • website sections and pages
  • design features 
  • visual effect
  • site login credentials
  • user registration management
  • CTAs
  • SEO requirements
  • sitemap
  • navigation preferences
  • blog & social media features
  • emailing sign-up forms
  • optimisation

However, the type of site you're creating will decide features like these. For instance, a brief developed for an e-commerce site include: 

  • list of product categories and variations
  • payment options
  • coupon codes
  • shipping prices, and other factors.

By doing this, you can avoid having to make significant modifications in the future and maintain brand consistency throughout the entire design.

Make A Project Schedule or Timeline

A deadline won't matter; a project can go as slowly as needed. This is an exception rather than the rule, though. Therefore, defining the project's timeline is another essential component of your web design brief. You must establish the project's parameters and specify a precise completion date.

Your team may make better plans for using the resources available during the development time by being aware of the schedule in advance. It's crucial to remember that your agenda ought to be reasonable. If you can't genuinely offer a high-quality finished project in two weeks, you shouldn't establish expectations for a complete site design in that time limit. This will make your agreement with your site designer much simpler and eliminate any potential for surprises.

Estimate Budget for Web Design

How Much Does A Website Cost

The price of website development is a crucial addition to the brief. Since it affects the project's overall scope and the technologies that your web designer will use to develop the site, for instance, if you have a small budget, your website can be more straightforward and rely more on templates. This could entail using a website builder or content management system (CMS).

But if you have more funding, your staff can devote time to complicated design or high-end services, such as custom-built solutions. Therefore, be sure to specify how much you're willing to spend.

Include the following in your web design brief:

  • Your estimated project budget 
  • payment schedule (in advance, hourly, monthly, and upon completion of the job)

Inform your designer of the budget you will dedicate to this project, but leave room for negotiation.

Be Specific About the Project Deliverables

One of the website brief's most crucial goals is informing everyone about what is expected. This means that you should include all of the deliverables that were agreed upon. This applies to both the website and any content, such as blog entries or case studies. After all, any delays here could delay the debut of the website. To avoid potential problems, it is also essential to know who is in charge of authoring the text and other deliverables.

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Knowing whether your client anticipates your website content being SEO-optimised is helpful. This is a chance to pitch more expensive services in this niche. For instance, they needed to learn about internet marketing prospects like Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaigns or the need to build up a sitemap for the final site.

It's essential to list your deliverables again, even though you probably did so in the project overview section. These things will establish the scope and the budget of your project. 

Set Guidelines for Comments and Edits

Setting expectations for feedback and modifications is vital in creating a design brief. To ensure that the design fulfils your expectations, it is crucial to specify how the designer can anticipate input and how many changes are included in the project.

Both the client and the designer typically decide on this aspect. If you engage with an experienced professional or a design firm, they will provide you with one, two, or even three rounds of modifications. Of course, they might make exceptions based on the job, but designers typically have their own rules. Therefore, be sure that you and your partner share the exact expectations regarding edits and revisions.

Define the feedback procedure: How will you inform the designer about the required changes? Will there be meetings in person, phone conversations, or emails? You need to talk about these technical aspects and make sure you're both after the same thing to get the outcomes you were hoping for.

Recheck Your Web Design Brief

The last thing to do is to proofread your web design brief. A well-written document is essential for an excellent first impression and better communication. So, the grammar of a website design brief must be flawless in every way. You should also carefully check the text and fix typos and grammatical errors. It will assist you in avoiding potential misunderstandings brought on by a misspelt word or a misplaced comma.

Design Brief Template

When it comes to design briefs, there is no one-size-fits-all. Your internal design process needs to specify the precise format.

To save time and make sure you remember everything, you should have a template you can use as the basis for each project you work on. You might get ideas from this model template when making your own.

Simple Design Brief Template

General Information– What is the name of your business?
– What does your business do?
– What are your business goals for the website? (lead generation, ecommerce, etc.)
Audience– Who is the primary audience for your site?
– What key information are they looking for?
– What is their tech savviness level?
Content– Do you have a logo, brand colours, or style guide?
– Any specific design aesthetic in mind?
– Examples of sites you like the design of?
Design– Who is the primary audience for your site?
– What critical information are they looking for?
– What is their tech savviness level?
Technical– Do you need ecommerce functionality?
– Any other special technical needs?
– Preferred CMS platform? (WordPress, etc.)
SEO– What are your main target keywords?
– Any SEO goals around traffic or conversions?
Launch– What is your expected launch timeframe?
– Any seasonal considerations for launch timing?
Budget– What is your budget range for this project?
Maintenance– Who will be in charge of maintaining the site after launch?
– Any needs around training for CMS, hosting, etc?

Once you've written your brief, remember to maintain it current and ensure all pertinent stakeholders can easily access it. It's critical to remember that it constantly changes throughout the design process and is genuinely finished once the project is completed. Throughout the project, you might need multiple revisions, for instance, when you receive fresh input from your clients or team.

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Ensuring a website's attractive, engaging front-end functions flawlessly with all of the programmed functionalities hidden behind it is essential to its success. Use the simple-to-use design brief for the website design to monitor the effects on the performance of your business and products. Think about the following factors while writing a website design brief: 

  • Who are the users of the website? 
  • What does the ideal site look and feel like? 
  • How will this website enhance the company's brand? 
  • How will you make sure this site is compatible with mobile devices? 
  • How simple will it be to use the website? 
  • Will the site see an increase in total online traffic due to design brief considerations? 

Utilise this thorough design brief for website creation to ensure you consider all design elements โ€” and programming considerations โ€” right away, resulting in a dynamic website ready to go in no time. 


What exactly is a web design brief?

A web design brief is a document that outlines the goals, requirements and expectations for a website project. It helps get everyone on the same page about what the website needs to achieve. The brief acts as a guide for the project so the end result meets the client's needs.

Why is a detailed brief important?

A detailed brief is crucial because it sets clear expectations between the client and designer. It helps avoid miscommunication down the line that could lead to extra work and delays. The more detailed the brief, the smoother the web design process will be from start to finish.

What kind of information should I include in my brief?

The brief should cover things like the website goals, target audience, content requirements, design preferences, technical needs, milestones and deadlines. Any relevant research, branding guides, competitor analyses and budget info should be included, too. The more details, the better!

I'm not sure what I want. Can you still create a brief?

Absolutely! Even if you're still figuring out specifics, we can have an in-depth discussion to tease out the details required for an effective brief. I'll ask lots of questions to understand your business, goals, audience and constraints. From there, we'll create a comprehensive brief that provides direction.

How can a brief set my project up for success?

A clear, thoughtful brief aligns us on project objectives, expectations and priorities from the start. It gives me critical insight into your goals and audience so I can recommend and create solutions tailored specifically to your needs. A solid brief means we avoid missteps and paves the way for an efficient, successful project.

Wrapping Up

Anyone employing a web designer to develop a new website for their company or enhance an existing one must first write a web design brief. Fortunately, anyone can create an efficient and effective web design brief with the correct advice and direction.

Use the advice we've provided above to produce a captivating, educational, and unique web design brief. A beautiful new website will emerge from effective and efficient communication between you and your web designer.

Author Bio: Zeeshan Hussain Bhatti is a blogger by passion and Digital strategist and Tech Geek at Aciano Technologies Software Development Company by profession; having a tech background and experience in IT development services, Zeeshan is eager to explore the modern-day tech landscape. Having an interest in technology, Bhatti writes about leading-edge technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive Industry, Logo Designing and much more.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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