The Website Design Brief

The design brief is vital to any website design project. The design brief provides the designer(s) with all the information they need to provide a design that hopefully exceeds your expectation.

The website design brief’s primary focus is on the objectives of the project and the desired results. The brief will not deal with design aesthetics, that is for the designer to achieve.

Website Design Brief Components

  1. Overview
  2. Background Information
  3. Design Process
  4. Design Elements
  5. Deliverables
  6. Budget
  7. Project Timeline
  8. Signature

1. Overview

The overview section will contain a snapshot of the work we will be undertaking for you. For example:

  • Design a responsive website interface for Your Business incorporating information as outlined in the Background Information section.
  • The style and elements of the interface design are outlined in the Design Elements section.

2. Background Information

We will include the information we receive from our discussions, and our questions, to you about your business in this section. We will describe your business, the target market and other relevant points that will assist the project designer(s) to understand the purpose of the logo design.

Below are examples of the questions we may ask about your business and your goals for your website.

Business Questions
  • How many years has your company been in business?
  • How many people work for your business?
  • What are your main products or services?
  • Describe your business and what you do? In layman’s terms, no industry jargon, as if we’re having a casual conversation.
  • What do you love about your business and what are you most proud of?
  • How did you get into this business and why?
  • Is there a unique story behind your business or something else that makes your business unique?
  • Where do you see your business in 5 years time?
Target Market Questions
  • Describe your target market or audience? This may include – gender, age range, location, income, etc.
  • Describe your usual customer and how often do they buy or use your product or service?
  • What does your audience care about?
  • What does your audience want?
  • How does your audience learn about your product, organisation or service?
  • What words do you want your audience to associate with your company?
Business Competition Questions
  • Who is your competition?
  • What differentiates your business from your competitors?
  • Is there something your business offers that your competition may not?
  • Does your competition offer anything you don’t?
  • Why should your audience choose you over the competition?
Design Preferences Questions
  • Are there any existing brand guidelines or corporate colour schemes that should be adhered to?
  • Are there any existing logos, graphics, images, etc. associated with your business?
  • Do you have a company tagline or slogan that should be used as an element of the website interface?
  • Do you have any design preferences, both likes and dislikes, or design expectations?
  • What tone or image do you want to portray? For example – high-end, helpful, friendly, earthy, bold, dominant, approachable, etc.
  • What colours do you like?
  • What colours do you dislike?
  • What fonts appeal to you? For example – serif, san serif, script, etc.

3. Design Process

The design process is an outline of the steps to be followed for your project. Generally the steps followed are:

  1. Design Brief
  2. Rough Drafts and Ideas
  3. Refine Drafts and Ideas to Three Design Drafts
  4. Refine Design Drafts to One or Two Layouts
  5. Refine to One Design Draft
  6. Review and Approval of Final Design Draft
  7. Design Drafts for Additional Pages
  8. Review and Approval of Additional Page Designs
  9. Implement Designs into Working Website
  10. Design and Layout of Website Content

However, the steps for your project may also be written something like:

  1. Rough Design Concepts
    Using this design brief multiple rough design concepts will be submitted to ascertain preferred direction of the website interface design.
  2. Design Drafts
    When a preferred direction is determined, from these rough designs, up to three interface design concepts will be further developed into design drafts.
  3. Final Interface Design
    Final interface design will be refined from the preferred design draft.

4. Design Elements

The design elements section, like the background information, will contain information from our questions and discussions about your design preferences. Where you have preferences these will be outlined for the designer(s) to incorporate in their concepts. Notes may be added in this section for:

  • Images
  • Fonts
  • Colours
  • Text
  • Examples (e.g. other website likes and dislikes)

5. Deliverables

This is an outline of items you may receive after final approval of the website design:

  • Final website interface design files in JPEG format.
  • Any font licenses and font files that may be used to complete the project
  • Any licensed images that may be used to complete the project

6. Budget

The cost of the project will be outlined here. The overall budget for the new website design could include costings for the following elements:

  • Research and development
  • Concepts
  • Fonts
  • Images

7. Project Timeline

The project completion date will be entered here. A timeline for the delivery of each step of the website design process will also be outlined here so the completion date can be achieved. This timeline will include items and dates for:

  • Initial concepts to be presented by…
  • Client feedback from initial concepts by…
  • Preliminary development of preferred concept by…
  • Client feedback from preferred concept by…
  • Final website design to be presented by…
  • Client final approval of website design by…
  • Additional page designs to be presented by…
  • Client feedback for additional page designs by…
  • Client final approval of additional page designs by…
  • Website content delivery by…
  • Stage website with final content delivery by…
  • Client final approval of staging website…
  • Website launch by…

8. Signature

There may be a section at the end of the website design brief for you to sign. This confirms that you agree with everything that has been written in the design brief.

The brief can now be passed on to the designer(s) to start designing your website interface.

Website Interface Design Examples

Click on the images below to see the design draft process from rough concepts to developing the final website design.

Some pages have multiple slides on each draft step.