Sometimes the biggest reason people who are unhappy with their existing websites don’t start the ball rolling for a new one is that they dont have time to think about it. They haven’t got the head space. It’s too overwhelming.
So what happens is either:
1. They do nothing
2. They end up spending hours and hours writing a brief, and if they get this done, they send it to many agencies, who then take a longer time to get back to them. This is because they need to work through the detail in the brief to find the information they need to quote for the website or the project.
We get briefs sent through all the time. They are sometimes very thorough, with lots of information about the organisation, and the way they work and what their aims and aspirations are. These are nice to read, but if you are feeling that is a huge task to put this in writing, don’t worry.
For the purpose of initally approaching agencies, to decide who you will shortlist and meet, you just need to write a very brief document – even an A4 sheet, and send that to us.
With only 4 bits of information.
To give a quote, all I need is 3-4 things. They are:
- Information about the site structure (what pages are needed)
- What functionality is needed (can be simple)
- When do you need us to provide the proposal/costings/timescales by
- What other sites do you like that you feel emulates the style you are after – even if it’s from a different industry (only if you have this information handy)
Really? That’s all?
Yes, for now, that’s all.
This is because, later on, as part of our design process, we have a wonderful design briefing questionnaire we get all clients to fill out,
This is a very thorough questionnaire, and that’s when we ask you questions about you, your aims, your brand, what you want people to believe, and specific design preferences).
We go through this in person or by email or on a call.
And we meet our clients before working on their projects (or have Skype calls if they are far away).
To elaborate on each of these 4 things
What pages are needed?
We just need to know what the top links are, and how many sublinks are needed. This isnt set in stone, and we may recommend some different names, but a bulleted list is fine. For example we could have:
- Home (with key messages)
- Meet the Team
- Services (you may want to break this down so you have a page– no more than 6 is best to keep the site easy to navigate)
- Blog (Case studies can be part of the articles you write for this)
On the top navigation area, there should be no more than 7 main sections. And ideally, as few sub pages as possible.
What functionality is needed?
Most websites for most companies can have simple functionality. A WordPress website, so you can update the site yourselves, and which has a blog for stories and useful information, and a slider for the homepage perhaps.
When do you need to have the proposal sent back to you by?
We can create costings quickly if the site is simple – it’s good to have a couple of days so we can look at your brief properly. But parameters are good, so you can tell anyone who is quoting the deadline, and know when quotes are coming back.
What other websites do you like the style of?
For this don’t worry about your competitors, look in any industry. And if you don’t have time to look through lots of sites, you don’t need to provide this at this stage, as in the briefing stage we still ask you more about what you like and don’t like about other websites.
It may help for you to look at these below examples of some of our other work. Most of these are websites which communicate key messages, include a blog and are responsive. But a couple of them don’t have a blog because the client didnt feel they could manage it. Some have blogs which the cleint doesn’t manage as well as if they got us to dothe blog for them. Some of the clients have yet to confirm they would like to get their site to be made responsive.
So, that’s all you need? Don’t you want to know about US?
Of course I want to know about you!
But what happens often is that you spend ages creating briefs that are 3-8 pages long, and many of the things are informaiton tht people need to know if they are designing your website for you, not if they are jsut quoting for your website. Believe me, we will ask you a lot more if you like us, our work and pricing – when we actually meet you.
So, my advice, don’t get too hung up on giving too much information too early – if you want to just get an idea of quotes, and the different approach agencies would take when creating your website for you, you can get this quickly by giving us just these 4 pieces of information and we can then take it from there!