Preparing a good brief is the best way to get a website that benefits your organisation and gets a good return on investment
The first step in writing a website brief is to ask the following questions together with your team:
Questions to answer before preparing a website brief
Vision and Purpose:
- What is the mission, vision and purpose of the organisation?
- What are your strategic ambitions and goals for the next 3-years?
- Why are you commissioning a new website?
- Has anything changed in your organisation or the activities or services that you provide?
- What are the issues with your current website?
Goals and Objectives:
- What is the primary the purpose of the website?
- What organisation challenges does the new website needs to address?
- What would be the outcomes of a successful website?
- Who are the main audience cohorts for the new website?
- Why would they come to the website and what do they need when they visit the site?
- What pain points do they experience with the current website?
- Does the organisation have brand identity guidelines?
- Are you looking for the web agency to refresh your brand as part of the project?
- Or there additional branded assets to be designed as part of the project?
- What content does your website visitors need to fulfill their needs and deepen engagement with your brand?
- Does this content exist?
- Do you require the web agency to help you in creating new content for the website?
- How much content will be required and what are the types of content, such as text, videos, and images?
- What functionality is required?
- What are the required features such as forms, search, newsletter sign-up, member-login areas, online payments, ticket booking, and third party integrations?
- What is the timeline and deadline for the website?
- Is there a reason for this timeline?
Keep in mind that a typical website project will take 6-months from engaging a web agency to launching the new website.
- What budget has been allocated for the project?
Setting a budget will save you time and effort when shortlisting web design agencies to approach for a proposal.
- Who are your industry peers and competitors?
Review their websites and make a list of websites that you like. Analyse what you like about each website. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the websites?
Legal Requirements – GDPR:
- Will you be collect personal identifiable information via the website? Is all this data necessary for your activities?
- How will this personal information be managed and kept secure in compliance with GDPR?
- What are the essential analytics reports will you require and are their GDPR implications?
- Will you be running digital marketing advertising that relies on users consenting to tracking cookies?
Legal Requirements – Accessibility:
From 2025 all websites are required to comply with the EU Web Accessibility Directive which requires websites to meet WCAG level AA standards. This covers both the design and coding of the site, and the content you add to the website, including Text, Images, Video, Audio, and PDFs.
- Will you require training for your team on how to create Accessible web content?
- Will you required the help of the web agency to remediate your content prior to adding it to the website?
- Do you required your website to be audited at the time of launch?
- Are you open to considering ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the website?
For example, smaller images, less video content, using a website hosting powered by certified Guarantees of origin (GOs) renewable energy sources.
Maintenance and Support:
- What level of maintenance and support will you need?
- Who will be responsible for website updates, how many of your team will require CMS training?
- Who will be responsible for hosting, software updates, backups, and security?
What does success look like?
- What is the one thing you have to great right to make this website project a success?
By asking yourself these questions before sitting down to write your website brief, you can ensure that the web development team has a clear understanding of the project's requirements and can deliver a website that meets the your organisations current and future needs.
Get in touch if you would like to schedule a chat about your upcoming website project.