In order to be best able to advise you or provide a quote then we would ideally like to have a design brief of your requirements. Below is an outline of the sort of things that a design brief should contain.
The Overview should outline your broad requirements. If you have a website already that you want updating then this should be mentioned here. Do you need the website to integrate to any specific service in-house or third party.
Aims and Objectives
The Aims and Objectives section should detail what you want the website to achieve. What specific features do you require within the website such as a shopping cart, online payment, document download, photo gallery etc.
If your website is to be targeted at a specific audience then knowing this information can aid further decisions relating to the project.
If this is a new website then you will likely require use to provide hosting for the website. If you have a pre-existing website that is being redesigned and you wish us to take over the hosting of the website the we will need some information about its current usage. In particular we would need to know its currently average month visitors, number of pages viewed and data bandwidth usage. If your current website hosting includes your email then we will need to know these requirements as well.
The Design Specification covers the general look of the website. We need to know what your requirements are. Our web designers will interpret these requirements quite literally, so it is important to be as clear as possible. Some points to consider include:
- Do you have a current design look that the website should fit into.
- What colour scheme, typeface, logo etc needs to be included
- Are there any specific elements that the general design should include such as photos, banner advertising, animation
If you have any sketches or drawings of the type of design then you are looking for then please include these. It is also helpful to include the addresses of sites you particularly like (or dislike) in this part of the document. This will help our designers to get a feel for what you are trying to achieve.
The functionality specification covers what you want within the website. These make up the pages within the website. It is a good idea to draw up a draft site structure as part of this section. This can be done as a basic flow-chart with boxes for pages and lines representing the links between them or as a bulleted list of pages. This will help you visualise the various pages within the website and how they need to like with each other. Once you have this plan you need no standard page, this is any page that is more then just simple text and photos. It is particularly important to know what photography, graphic creation, animation etc to the pages within the website. Also if the pages have special functionality such as a shopping cart, photo gallery etc then this should also be detailed.
You should ensure that your Functionality Specification includes the following:
- Page Structure
- Media requirements (just text and pictures or animation, virtual reality and sound?)
- Interactive elements
- Special Functionality (e.g. 'Shopping Cart' or 'Photo Gallery')
As you detail the pages within the website you will be making decisions about the content/media on the various pages. In order to cost the project we need to know what of this content you will be providing directly and what you need us to produce for you. Since the content production can be one of the most costly parts of a website it is important that you detail everything that you need us to produce.
If you have included any specific functions within the pages of the website then these need to be detailed. We need to know how you expect these to work and any specific features that the must have. For example if the website has a shopping cart then we need to know things such as where the goods can be shipped to, how is delivery calculated, how will payment be processed etc...
The Budget for your website will be a key factor in the website you receive. If you have a specific budget then please include details of what this is. Depending on your budget it may be necessary to change elements of your design brief to bring the project in on that budget.
We are are often juggling conflicting priorities, and web development timetables are highly prone to slippage. In order to plan your project we need to know the timetable you have for when this project needs to be completed.
It is also important to establish clear lines of communication from the outset of the project. Please make sure there is a single point of contact for this project. Include full contact details including an e-mail address. We will often use e-mail as a primary method of communication for its speed and the ability to include documentation
It is important to ensure that you include all the requirements no mater how small the seem. We will only quote based on what we are told. Any new features or functionality will incur additional cost. If these new requirements come to late they may not be able to be included without significant cost and delay to the project.
With this document it is important that you provide as much detail as possible. This will allow our technical staff to analyse your requirements and develop a solution.