How to Write a Killer Web Design Brief

August 27, 2014

design brief

Are you looking to embark on a web design project? Make sure you nail the design brief upfront, and cover off any important design requirements before the designer starts work. A web design brief is a document that guides the entire web design process. It should be as comprehensive and detailed as possible, and serve as a common point of reference for all parties involved. Clearly communicating your requirements is critical to getting a website you love. It will help the designer understand your website vision, quote accurately, and avoid miscommunication and costly re-iterations.  

Essential components of a web design brief


1. Your business

Give the designer an understanding of who you are, what your business does, where you are heading, and how your brand should be portrayed.

  • What do you do?
  • What are your products and services?
  • How long you have been around?
  • What is the size of your business?
  • What is your vision?
  • Where do you want to be in 3 – 5 years time?
  • How do you want to be perceived in the marketplace?
  • Who are your ideal customers?
  • Who are your top 3 competitors?


2. Your website

Explain what drove the need for a new website, and describe what a successful website looks like to you. A. Why do you need a new website? B. What do you like about your old website? C. What don’t you like about your old website? D. Describe your ideal website E. How many sections will it have & what are they? F. What features and functions do you require (examples below)

  • Search box
  • Sliders
  • Social media
  • Google maps
  • Blog
  • Ecommerce
  • Gallery
  • Forms
  • Newsletters
  • Membership
  • Integrations to existing systems
  • How will you measure the success of the website?


3. Your users

Provide details about who your website users are, so that the design, features and functionality can be tailored accordingly. A. Who will be using the website?

  • Public, trade, staff
  • Age group
  • Language requirements
  • Country/ localisation requirements
  • Male/ female

B. Why are they visiting your website?

  • Research
  • Information
  • Entertainment
  • News
  • Look up pricing
  • Download
  • Make a purchase
  • Get contact details

C. Who will be updating the website?  

4. Your design

Describe how your new website should look, the impression you want to give, and any brand and style guidelines that need to be met. A. Values to communicate with your design – e.g.

  • Masculine vs feminine
  • Traditional vs contemporary
  • Professional vs personal
  • Serious vs friendly
  • Strong vs soft
  • Exclusive vs inclusive

B. Websites you like & specifics about what you like C. Your brand colours, fonts, icons & any style guidelines D. Is a rebrand required? E. Example images or materials  

5. Your budget & timeline

Providing an indication of budget and timeframes will help your web designer manage your expectations of what is realistically achievable.

  • How much do you have to spend?
  • When are you looking to get started?
  • Do you have a hard deadline to be live by?

  Communication is a vital component of all projects – and in web design, it all starts with a detailed design brief. Taking the time to document your website requirements will ensure that you have a common brief for obtaining quotes, and once you get started with the project it will serve as the point of reference for desired outcomes and deliverables. Want to talk through your web design requirements with a experienced web developer? Contact us for a obligation free Skype or phone conversation about your project.  

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