Friday, July 31, 2009
A good brief, informed by a clear strategy, is an essential part of any successful web project.
Having a website these days is as important as having a mobile phone, especially if you own a business and want to grow. With this said, don’t rush in, design a website, put it up on the internet and hope for over night success.
Developers, designers, project managers and the especially the client need to understand the needs, goals, strategies and brand. This all sounds very obvious; however it’s not always completely understood from the start.
Before starting any design or planning functionality, we still need to understand the needs of the business and end user (consumer). What are we trying to do here? Market an existing brand, sell a service, a product or (subtlety) interact with users via a forum? These are the questions we need to ask before deciding on the project objectives.If you own and run a business it’s important to have an identity, this could be visual (brand colours and logo) and reflect how you are perceived by your clients, and consumers in general. Good design is very important and these days quite vital, especially on the web.
Once we understand the needs it’s time to form a strategy. This could be a long term strategy for the business or (short term) just for this phase of website development.
To consider the identity of the website, we need to see the bigger picture. Once we understand all of these elements, we can form a solid brief.
The brief should contain information and defined criteria relevant to the project and the business. It should list all the people involved, including the client, suppliers, developers and designers. Then there are goals, history, objectives, milestones, deliverables, timings and budget. Designers, managers and developers work closely to make accurate decisions and come up with a solution.
After you win the pitch, then this brief is used for the design and development and also distributed to everyone involved in the project. Working closely to the brief ensures everyone involved understands the project and minimizes any misunderstandings or scope creep.
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