Saving Time and Money with a Web Design Brief
If you’ve ever managed a web project, you know how vexing it can be to get started with a clear scope and direction, especially if a redesign is part of the agenda. Maybe you’ve worked on a web project in the past where some important starting criteria wasn’t identified early, or the team forgot to define some specific items like success objectives, or calls to action, or desired metrics or customer needs. When this happens, this definition gap causes resets and rework. Worse, if you were working with an outside web design vendor, this rework and redefinition probably slowed down the project, degraded final quality, and added to the final cost of design and delivery. So, it’s important to get projects started on the right track. We do so at Cisco by way of a magical document called a Web Design Brief. I thought you might be interested in the format we use, and may find it useful in your own organization. So, you can download our Web Design Brief template here. The idea of the Design Brief is simple: (1) Answer some key project questions in a friendly PowerPoint format, and then (2) share it with your web team and designers or (if the project is big) prospective design vendors. It’s an easy and effective way of figuring out what you’re really trying to do with a new design or section revamp.A design brief will save you time, aggravation, and money, by answering fundamental questions such as:
- Why are you embarking on this new web project, anyway?
- What are your primary business objectives and success measures?
- Who are you audiences and what are your users key requirements?
- What similar sites or projects inspire you?
- What kinds of customer data and site metrics do you have available to inform the design?
- Who are the key contacts and stakeholders, and what other related projects are underway?
- What is the global reach of the project?
- The objectives of the project are clear, so projects get kicked more efficiently with our design resources, saving time and money
- The projects get completed more predictably, since there are fewer restarts and resets
- Considerations like metrics plans and global deployment aren’t surprises, since they’re flagged up front
- Design estimates with vendors tend to be better, since the project is well defined