Launching a website without a creative brief? Don’t even think about it.
Whether you’re working with external or in-house web designers, you’ll need a creative brief to keep your objectives aligned.
What’s a Creative Brief?
A creative brief is a one to two-page document that clients (like you!) fill out. It provides the information designers need to create your website. Think of it as a roadmap or a blueprint.
Remember, it’s important that both parties meet and go over the brief to reach a mutual agreement. This helps resolve any questions or issues before the project even starts.
Now let’s check out the 4 key elements every website creative brief should have.
Write a Thorough Website Creative Brief: 4 Elements You Should Know
Your brand statement
Your website is the digital representation of your brand.
To convey the correct message, web designers should understand who you are and what you do. So start your brief with a brief description of your brand. Make sure to be as clear as possible, especially when you’re hiring external help.
Keep these guide questions in mind:
- Provide a company background — who are you?
- What are your products/services?
- Who are your key competitors?
- What is the overall brand personality?
- What are your mission and core values?
Let’s look at these examples of brand statements from big business players:
Your target audience
Who are you building your website for?
Introduce your target audience in one or two short paragraphs. Doing so helps your project team create content and design that’s geared towards your audience’s preferences.
Defining your target audience is easy as long as you know your niche well. It also pays to have this information ready:
- Demographic: Age, gender, location, income, etc.
- Psychographic: Interests, shared belief, pain points, and motivations
Where do you get all these audience information? Do customer research. Gather data from the following sources:
- Your current customer base: These are your new and old customers. You can contact them for a phone call interview to gather more information. Or if you have a list of email subscribers, survey them through email.
- Use website and social media analytics tools: These tools give you in-depth information on user behaviour. This leads you to understand your TA’s psychographics when interacting with your website.
Your project goals and objectives
What do you wish to achieve with your website? Is it to increase brand awareness, boost traffic, or generate more bookings?
Let’s say you want to boost your traffic. Back it up with specific objectives, like build a mobile-friendly website and integrate SEO (search engine optimisation).
To write smart goals, use the S.M.A.R.T. formula. Check out the example below:
Goal: To see a 25% increase in my monthly qualified leads by March 2020 through targeted case studies and more compelling lead forms.
Specific: To see an increase in monthly qualified leads
Measurable: A 25% increase in monthly qualified leads
Actionable: Achieve the goal by creating targeted case studies and more compelling lead forms.
Relevant: Aligning the goal with the website’s goal to invite more target customers.
Time-based: Achieve the goal by March 2020
Keep these tips in mind when setting goals:
- Consider your target audience and think of their own goals and pain points. How do you think your website can solve or help achieve them?
- Make sure your website goals are in sync with your business goals. Which is primarily to be profitable.
- Set KPIs (key performance indicators) or the metrics you want to monitor. Seeing your progress lets you stay on top of your tasks.
Your project scope and requirements
Identifying your project scope keeps your priorities straight.
You minimise scope creep — or those instances when a one-page website plan turns into a five-page project with no end in sight.
Start with these three parts:
A project timeline maps out the stages of your project and what your team needs to do in every stage. Simply put, it’s the detailed process of your project execution.
It helps everyone understand their roles and when they should step in. So it keeps things organised and helps everyone stay on track.
Your timeline should include specific tasks, the person in charge of each task, deadlines, and deliverables.
Changes may happen in your timeline as the project moves along, so don’t hesitate to make rooms for adjustments. But don’t compromise your goals!
Is it a one-page or a multi-page website? What elements do you include or ignore?
This is where you plan your website pages. Keep them clutter-free and ensure user-friendly navigation. Get started with:
- Header elements (i.e. logo, brand name, homepage, navigation menu, etc.)
This helps your project team have a better picture of your ideal project outcome.
Provide web design inspirations highlighting the aesthetic and function you want. If you have past related projects, include them as references as well.
Consider these quick tips when writing your creative brief
Make sure it provides value to both parties
You already know what matters most to your business. Make sure you also identify what matters most to your customers. This way, it’s easy for your team to organise their thoughts and pen down a great creative brief.
Work with your team constantly
Get as much help as you can to gather more ideas and have more eyes to spot potential flaws on your website project. After all, more heads are better than one.
Layout a proper project management plan
Set key approvers or project managers to oversee the different stages of your project. Along with this should be a detailed approval workflow. This will open a better communication among your team because you know the appropriate people to consult with.
Ready to Write Your Creative Brief?
Remember to take your time when working on your creative brief. In the end, you’ll want to create a brief that short, easy-to-read, and packed with all the relevant information.
And make sure it works for everyone involved in the project. This way, you can work en masse and achieve your desired results together.