A good website starts with a good brief

Considering launching a new website? Great; Decoco can certainly help you with the project from inception to launch. Website builds and redesigns are great to focus people’s attention on the marketing, communication and outlook of a business. Launching a website is not without its challenges and pains, but they can run smoothly, stay on track and be delivered on budget by working together.

The brief

Sounds obvious, but what’s your brief for your website project? With any project, individuals involved, from the client to supplier often want to go full steam ahead and get the project underway. Without a considered brief, however, the project is not off to a great start. So just ask yourself some simple, but thought provoking questions:

What’s the objective of the project?

Are you launching your website based on user-experience evidence, such as visitor interactions, conversions or feedback? Or this is the site being redesign based on internal opinions or feeling? If it’s based on internal hunches, is there any data you can gather to inform and enhance your brief?

What’s the budget for the project?

Consider the budget allocated for the website relaunch or redesign. Is it realistic, based on the objective of the project? It’s better to discuss money at the outset of the project, rather than down the line when the project is in design and development. If the initial budget is limited, elements and features can be removed or a phase implementation agreed. Alternatively, there may be other solutions that are more cost effective and deliver better financial return.

What’s your deadline?

There may be a very clear mark in the sand when the website needs to be launched by. Given the start date, is the deadline realistic? Similar to the budget, being upfront at the beginning of the project means all parties understand the deadline and the reason behind that particular date.

Who’s responsible for what?

It might sound obvious, but if you are appointing a web developer to rebuild your website, what about content (written, photography, video etc.)? As the client, are you supplying the content and is the web developer loading this on to the site via the Content Management System (CMS), or are they expecting you to load content once the site and CMS have been built?

Considering the overall deadline for launch, who is providing what content and by when? Once this content is uploaded onto the site, who is going to take responsibility to look through the site and make amendments to the content.

Looking back at the overall budget too, is the requirement for any new content allocated within this, or is there a separate budget for new content?

Technical specification

Naturally you may not know all the answers to the technical specification needed for the website. In fact, the web developer should certainly be informing the overall brief here to ensure best practice. That said, you are going to know some information that will need to inform the brief, for example does the website need to integrate with any other systems, such as your CRM system? Developing the technical specification at the beginning of the project should prevent any nasty surprises down the line once the project is underway.

A clearer picture and a better end result

Taking time to answer the questions above and stepping back from actually wanting to get the project underway gives a clearer picture of the programme, milestones and overall outcome. It may be the end result is actually very different from what was first envisaged, but through a clear brief and a team working effectively together, the end result should better serve you and your business.