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What Is a Web Design Brief?

Jeremy Laukkonen
Jeremy Laukkonen

Web design briefs are documents that contain a variety of specifications regarding the development of specific website projects. The primary purpose of this type of document is to allow a client to adequately convey his expectations to a designer. In some cases, a web design brief will be prepared to obtain bids from different agencies, though it is also common for a design firm to work closely with an existing client to create one. The precise contents of a web design brief can vary from one instance to another, though at the very least they typically lay out the goal or purpose of the project and any specific technical requirements. These briefs can provide potential benefits to both design firms and their clients, as a project that is clearly defined from the beginning is more likely to satisfy both parties.

There are two primary ways that web design briefs can be created, and each one results in a slightly different document. The first type of web design brief is created by a company or individual in need of a new or updated web presence. In this case, the brief is typically constructed for the purpose of obtaining accurate bids to have a website built. The document will usually begin with a statement of the goal or purpose of the project and then specify any special skills or knowledge the developer will need to possess. A budget guideline may also be included in addition to a variety of other information, and design firms can then be invited to bid based on the document specifications.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

It is also possible for an agency to work with an existing client to create a web design brief. In this case, the client is typically less interested in finding the lowest bidder and more concerned with taking advantage of the designer's technical expertise and valuable experience. The level of participation from each party can vary from one case to another, though the client is usually still in control of the process.

The creation of a web design brief can offer a number of potential benefits, since it provides a road map for the design firm to follow in the creation of a website. It then becomes possible for the designer to estimate the resources the project will need and identify any necessary areas of expertise that may be lacking. The primary way that clients can benefit is through a reduction in risk, since the designer will know exactly what is expected ahead of time. It is also possible to measure the success of a project against the goals that were laid out ahead of time in a design brief, and money can also be saved if the brief is used to obtain bids.

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