During a web design project, our team will go out of its way to please our clients – be this through endless edits, additional features (perhaps not included in the brief), and a good deal of trial and error upon request. It’s no secret that some projects can tend to go more smoothly than others. While we can promise that we’ll do our best to inform and educate you about all things web design and project-related, there are a few tips we can offer our clients to ensure a seamless transaction is made between us.
Whether you’re looking to start a website from scratch or to simply update a current one, we recommend reading this blog series before you get to the brief:
Expectations vs reality
In a magical Disney-esque dream world where everything ends in a ‘happily ever after’, you could expect a design brief to go as ‘a-b-c’ as this:
- Client gets in contact
- Client requests website
- Website is created
- Designer gets paid
- Website works well
- Everyone is happy
And then pigs fly, right? Here’s a more realistic look at that process, as experienced by most web designers today:
- Client gets in contact during/after a hectic (sometimes incomplete) pitching period
- Client requests website (either hugely visual-specific or completely ambiguous)
- Website is made (but not without a healthy dose of email exchange, edits and waiting games for board approval etc)
- Designer gets paid (often with delays, last minute negotiation, and a myriad of follow-up emails)
- Website is buggy (usually if the project has been rushed)
- There’s rarely a happily ever after…it’s more like a ‘happily ever- oh wait one more thing…’
No matter which side of the brief you’re on, client or creator, there’s always room for error, but also for improvement. For a project to run as smoothly as it possibly can, it’s going to involve some solid communication.
Not to be confused with an endless stream of emails during the design process itself, effective coms between client and creator need to take place during your first project meeting.
Cue the Mission Impossible music and bring your game face, because the project rests upon how well this meeting goes!
At the brief meeting
Stay on target
There’s a time for brainstorming, and there’s a time for brief-building. In a small-business brainstorm meeting, we can chat generally and discuss marketing matters, target audiences, brand backstory – whatever you like!
In a brief-building meeting, however, it will save both parties a lot of valuable time if we ‘stay on target’. We’re here to talk about your website, and we’re really excited that you’ve chosen us to create it for you!
What to bring to the brief table
The best thing you can bring is a clear expectation of what content you want and where you want it. No clear content makes for a very obscure concept.
A shop (ecommerce) website, for instance, should have a clear description or set of products and some idea of how they’d like these sold. For clients needing a website to deliver information effectively, you could prepare a ‘priority’ list that arranges content in order of importance (what you want your audience to see first).
The speed of your project tends to rely heavily on how much practical info you can provide your website creator with in regard to the content and its arrangement. You can save yourself weeks of back-and-forth emailing with a few hours of practical prep before your meeting.
In short: specifics avoid guessing games and save money. Win!
Keep an eye out for the next installment of this article where we’ll chat about presenting your preferred website design examples for your project.