How to brief a website designer

Mon, 01/08/2011 - 09:55

So you need a new website.

There’s a fair chance that unless you know exactly what you want, you’ll be scratching your head wondering how to brief your developers.

We’ve put this short website development design brief together to give you a head start. As well as helping you to formulate your own ideas, it’s handy for us as it puts some structure around your project.

It’s not a definitive document (that’ll only come later once you’ve accepted our web design quote and we’ve provided you with a full business analysis specification and wirefames), but it should provide a strong enough framework to capture the key points.

Who are you?

  • Provide a concise description of your business and how it operates.
  • Where are you based and what geographic area do you cover?
  • What products or services do you provide?
  • Who are your main competitors?
  • What are your primary strengths and USPs?
  • Please provide other useful information about your business and the markets you operate in (brochures etc)
  • Do you have an existing website? Is the Domain name (address for your site) registered and do you have email accounts on your own domain?

Your (potential) customers and your strategy

  • Provide an overview of your typical customer.
  • How do they purchase your products and services? Where and when do they buy?
  • Do they use the internet to buy your type of product or service?
  • How will they find your website – what search queries would they use when looking for a business like yours in Google?
  • What action do you want them to take when they visit the site?
  • How will you convert them to clients?

What you expect your site to achieve

  • What is the primary main objective of the site (increased visitors, increased awareness, sales, better customer support etc)
  • How will you measure success?

Your budget

What budget do you have available for the website? Bear in mind that as well as the initial design and build, you’ll need to allocate funds for website maintenance and ongoing marketing to promote it.

Content management requirements

  • Do you want to be able to update the website yourself? If so, what aspects?
  • Copy, images, meta data (the hidden indexing that helps search engines) page names etc?
  • Can you provide copy for the site, or do you need assistance with this?


Please provide a navigation plan which details the primary pages and shows how they link.

As a starting point, figure out how you’d like to divide information across the site. It’s normal to have a series of top-level (category) pages which, if necessary, link out to deeper pages for more information.

Design criteria

  • Do you have a corporate style, logo or other graphic elements that you want to use within your website design?
  • Are there specific colours or design styles that are particularly suitable for your market and customers?
  • Do you have photographs, maps or graphics that you want to include in the site?
  • Please provide a list of websites that you like the design of.

Search engine optimisation

  • As part of the design and build process, you need to consider the website’s search engine friendliness.
  • Identify the words and phrases you want to target - make sure you use the words or phrases that will be used by real customers.
  • This can then be incorporated in the meta data which helps the site become more visible to the search engines.

We’ll always help clients by adding basic SEO components to their website as part of the build phase. And we offer a series of ongoing SEO retainers for clients who are more serious about ongoing SEO activity.

Need Assistance with Digital Strategy?

Rogerwilco’s team of strategists, business analysts and data scientists is here to help.