Getting a brief for website work is a luxury as rare as a beautiful white peacock.
Often the person requiring your skills has a jumbled idea of the outcome they want, but not the process for getting there.
And that’s OK, because we can brief ourselves. We actually have all the knowledge the official briefer is lacking, so we can help them get where they need to go with this web project.
Who is this web project aimed at?
First port of call: who are we trying to target with whatever this project is? Write down everything you and the so-called briefer know about this audience.
- Way they shop/buy/browse
- Awareness and sentiment towards our brand
What does the person briefing think they want?
Write down what the person asking for the project said, word-for-word. It may very well turn out that what they said isn’t what they actually want, or what they think they want is impossible.
This bit may require you to do a bit of interrogation and education. You’re the expert; help this person refine what they want the outcome to be.
Ask your briefer:
- What would the audience ideally do?
- How would we measure our success?
Our desired outcome:
- Action the audience should take
- Metric – sales, engagement, awareness
What does the company, as a whole, need?
We all get bogged down in our own requirements. Your job as a solution provider is to take a birds-eye view of all the web projects going on, so you can prioritise and keep the business on track.
- What’s going on elsewhere in the business – does this serve everyone? Does this have cross-over with any other project?
- What other projects have priority over this one?
- Any issues this project will give the business? How will this be perceived outside the company?
When does this need to be published?
We need a project plan or at least a publishing schedule. If you can get an ideal deadline from your briefer, you can work backwards from that date.
Sometimes, when we track all the steps – copywriting, design, signoffs, web build – that deadline has to move. And that is why we do it: to make sure the timeline is even possible.
Ask your briefer:
- Their ideal live date
- Is there more than one date for publishing e.g. we’ll need to post one blog and then a follow-up two days later?
Where does it need to be published?
This sounds easy: they know they want a landing page or blog post. But actually, part of our web project brief is identifying any ripple effect.
That landing page is all very well, but we need to drive people to it – so it turns out we need a social campaign as well.
- How can we achieve the objective by using our other platforms or resources?
- What other departments are affected by this web project e.g. will our social team need to notify customers?
Who needs to be involved?
It’s not just you and your briefer. They may be the direct client for this web project brief but there are other signoff points and possibly regulatory revisions we need.
And hey, guess what – we need the creatives who’ll actually do the work. We have to give them the web project brief and make sure we have the resource to deliver to our deadline.
Ask your briefer
- Points of sign-off: the briefer, anyone in marketing who needs to approve, legal, final sign-off?
- Resource: copywriting, design work, SEO support, front-end development?
It’s your web project brief
When it comes down to it, you’re the person who needs this brief to be airtight. Help your briefer by asking the questions they don’t know, to bring all the information you need to light.