To give our customers an accurate quote, we need to gather your information regarding your company and its goals for the website project. Please read the questions below and try your best to answer as many questions as possible. Not all the questions will be relevant, but the more detail you can provide, the more accurate your quotation is. Please email our team your answers; we will do our best to give you a true and accurate quote.

Taking the time to create this document ensures that both the client and designer sing from the same hymn sheet throughout the design process and leaves no room for second-guessing, assumptions and mistakes. As a client, the intrinsic result of writing a good brief is that you have considered what you want to achieve from the project in great detail. Your expectations are far more likely to be realistic, and the communication during building your site will run smoothly.

Here at DigitalFlare, we have produced a set of questions to help guide you through writing a brief for a website design company. It's not the definitive list of what you will need (and some questions do not apply to all business types), but it's an excellent starting point and will serve as food for thought.

Writing an Introduction

Most website design companies (including DigitalFlare) will need to know a bit about your company to understand how we should design your website. A good starting point would be to list the following:

  • What does your company do?
  • What are the short-term and long-term goals of the business?
  • How do you differ from your competitors?
  • Describe the company using six words (e.g. young, vibrant, technology-based etc.)
  • Who are your customers and prospects? (e.g. ages, social class etc.)
What is your budget and timeframe?

By being open and frank about your available budget and timeframe, your designer can create a realistic proposal and work schedule for the project and manage your expectations from the start.

The old website

If you have got an existing website, firstly let us know the website URL and then answer the following questions:

  • What is good about the website? (i.e. the written text, photos etc.)
  • What is wrong with the website? (i.e. old colour schemes, outdated design, not user-friendly etc.)
  • Who is currently responsible for updating the old/existing site?

The new website

You must now examine what you need from the new website. So a good starting point would be to consider the following:

  • Outline the website's aims (to increase traffic, improve product awareness, offer e-commerce, and advertise a product).
  • Is the new website part of a re-brand or a new product launch?
  • What are your company's unique selling points, products, or services?
  • List a few competitors' websites or websites you hope to compete with in the future.
The look & feel of the new website

The website should be an extension of any offline media, advertising or branding that you have. It is always helpful to be provided with a brochure, some marketing literature or the annual report to help get a feel for the company, so include them with the brief if you can.

  • It is worthwhile noting three or four websites you want to get an idea of the kind of site you like. Not necessarily competitors or sites related to your industry - give a few example sites that you like the colour schemes, navigation layout, or interactive elements. Please specify what you want about each design.
  • Do you have your photographs? (i.e. photos of your staff, store, products or services?)
  • Another area that is always overlooked is copywriting. Have you got the textual content ready? Well, written content/articles are a valuable SEO tool to help increase page rankings.
Technical requirements
  • What pages do you want, and how many roughly? (A bullet point list of page titles/menu items).
  • Do you want to send out e-newsletters to your customers?
  • Do you require social integration with your networks? (i.e. Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook etc.)
  • Do you require a site search facility or product filters (i.e., search by size)?
  • Do you require a 'Google map' on your contact / how to find us page?
  • Do you require an online form? If so, what form fields/form questions will you need?
  • Do you already have a domain name for your new site?

Ongoing website maintenance is an often overlooked aspect of website design.

  • Who will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the website?
  • Do you wish to be able to update the website yourself? If so, what control do you require?

You would have written a great design brief by answering all of these questions above. However, physical sketches of page layouts (sometimes called' wireframes') can help designers understand your specific requirements in a visual format. You may wish to provide these sketches/drawings because visual plans can often speak a thousand words!