If you decided that you wanted to build your own house, you would almost certainly draw up a few plans before you started work. For example, you'd probably start out by deciding where you wanted to build the house and what materials you wanted to use. Then you'd decide what rooms you wanted, what each room was for, how you would access each room, and so on. At the same time, you'd have to think about what furniture and open space you wanted in each room. Things like that.
That's more or less the same approach you need to take when considering getting a website for your business. To ensure we know what our clients want from their website, we ask every client to provide us with a website design brief. A Design Brief is a description of your aims and objectives, a description of what you want the website to do. You don't need to write a book, and the description doesn't always need to be long, but the more information you give us, the better.
As a bare minimum, you need to tell us what you want your website to do, how and why, and also who your target customers are, how the website will be linked to your business and who your main competitors are. Without this information, your website designer won't be able to tell if the website and its page contents are structured correctly.
It's worth saying that a website design brief can be as long as you like. Any information you provide will be useful because it helps your designer understand what he needs to achieve. Your designer will cut and paste the important things into a reference file which will be used as a guide throughout the design process. Whilst we only need the bare essentials, the more you tell us, the less likely you are to forget something important!
Start out by telling us something about yourself and your business. We're not asking for an autobiography, just enough information to help the designer understand a little about you. Next, tell us what the objectives are for your website, however specific or general they might be. Experience tells us that while explaining these things, clients invariably include information that they forgot to include in their page contents, so it is a useful exercise in more ways than one.
You wouldn't open a shop without first identifying who your potential customers were. You'd work out who they were and why they would choose to visit your shop. The same applies to a website. Your website, the text and images it contains and even the style of the website has to be created with your target customers in mind. Ask yourself who you want your website to attract, who they are, where they are from, what they will want to find on your website, and so on. What do you want these people to do when they visit your website? These things affect how your website is structured.
Tell us about the things you want added to your website. This might be things like photos and videos that you want incorporated into the website, or things we need to create or edit. If you want it, tell us about it!
If you already have a website for your business and want to upgrade it, for example to make it responsive (accessible for vsitors with both normal browsers and also mobile browsers), give us details of the existing website, and then answer the questions below as well as you can.