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How to write a website design brief to keep your team aligned on your web design project

write a design brief,design brief,website design,web design,template,sitemap,design project,write a website,design process,deliverable,brand awareness,brief,target audience,website design brief template
What should be in your website design brief?

Creating a new website is quite the journey, involving different teams to get it done.

You’ve got your design team (from Deer Designer, obviously) handling the website visuals—think brand guides, wireframes, icons, illustrations, thumbnails, and more.

Then, there’s your web developer sorting out the sitemap and making sure the UX/UI is top-notch for your visitors.

For e-commerce sites, there’s even more to consider: someone to keep track of inventory and make sure everything’s running smoothly.

But how do you ensure everyone’s on the same page?

That’s where a website brief comes in handy.

It lays out exactly what you want for your website and what each team member needs to deliver.

If you’re new to this, creating a brief might feel overwhelming.

Where do you even begin?

At Deer Designer, we’ve designed hundreds of websites for both seasoned agencies and total newbies.

Let me guide you through the essentials to include in your design brief!

What are you trying to achieve with your website?

First things first, we need to know what the website is supposed to do.

This helps us know what website structure you need even before we get started on the design process.

Are you using your website for brand awareness to let people know your brand exists when they search online?

Are you using it for online marketing and selling your products or services online?

Or is it for something else?

Knowing the goals helps us design the website in a way that helps us achieve them.

For example, if you want it to become your online catalog, we will know you need a web page to show your products and pricing to your audience.

If you’re planning on making an eCommerce site where you sell products directly, we will know you will also need an area for your users to add items to their cart and complete their purchase.

Meanwhile, if you’re using the site to put out content and reach your audience, we will know you need a section to show your latest content or blogs.

What do you need in your sitemap?

This part helps everyone visualize what your site will actually look like.

This usually involves mapping out the journey you want your users to have when they go to your site.

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Tell your team what sections you need in your website and how you want the user journey to go.

This is where you sort out the sections you need on your site and how the navigation to these sections will look.

Usual websites need a home page, an about us or contact page, different content categories if you have a blog or a shop, or a pricing page if you’re offering products or services.

There are several sitemap templates you can find online, but our creative director at Deer Designer can also help you sort this out during creative calls.

“A client could tell us their industry and everything about their company, but bottom line, they should know what they want to feature on their webpage,” says Ysabelle, a creative director at Deer Designer.

What visuals would match your brand?

As your website will represent your brand, it has to match your brand’s messaging and visuals.

This is why we ask for a brand guide or any other design assets the brand has before working on a site.

In fact, our designers can work on a website without having a brand guide, but it might take longer!

I’m already getting flashbacks just thinking of all the clients who were confused about why we weren’t working on their website yet when their brand guide was still in the works.

If you don’t have a brand guide, our team can create one for you.

This ensures everything we create for your website aligns with your overall messaging and branding.

And that includes stuff like using the right colors, fonts, logos, and even images to use for your site.

“It’s usually best when clients ask for simple and genuine-looking photos.’ Otherwise, the website might end up with too many overused stock photos, which can make it less effective.” says Ysabelle Bondoc, a creative director at Deer Designer.

It’s important to keep everything looking consistent to make sure people recognize the brand.

Who is your target audience?

When we asked our designers what they often find themselves asking our web design clients, a lot of them said the brand’s target audience or personas.

You might not think about it from the get-go, but your designers need to know who will be using the website before they can even start making the design.

write a design brief,design brief,website design,web design,template,sitemap,design project,write a website,design process,deliverable,brand awareness,brief,target audience,website design brief template
Do you know who will be using your website?

After all, we need to know who the designs should appeal to.

Are they young or old, tech-savvy or not so much?

This helps us design the website in a way that makes sense to the people who will use it.

After all, a tech-savvy audience might be more willing to browse through a content-rich site, while an older audience might just want to see what they need the moment they click through.

It’s like speaking their language.

What is your timescale like?

Time is money, right?

So, we need to set deadlines for when different parts of the project should be done.

This helps us stay on track and make sure all the deliverables get finished on time.

Website design brief template

write a design brief,design brief,website design,web design,template,sitemap,design project,write a website,design process,deliverable,brand awareness,brief,target audience,website design brief template
We usually have a checklist of assets we need to create a website.

At Deer Designer, here is what we usually need from our client’s project brief:

  • A brief description of the website
  • Should we use Figma or Photoshop for the website design?
  • Any preferred sizes or dimensions?
  • What colors, fonts, and other elements does the brand use (brand guide)?
  • What sections are needed on the website?
  • Provide the copy or text for each web page
  • Provide a wireframe of the website, if you have one
  • Link a home page or website we should base the web design on
  • Web design inspirations for this project
  • A list of the brand’s competitors
  • What type of imagery (photos or illustrations) should we use?

✅ Scheduling a creative call with our creative directors is super useful to discuss this brief in detail.

Write a website design brief to align everyone on your team

A well-crafted design brief helps make sure everyone involved is aligned from conceptualization to completion.

It’s your assurance that your expectations align with everyone’s project goals, deliverables, and deadlines.

At Deer Designer, we understand the importance of clarity, collaboration, and creativity in every web design project.

With this comprehensive guide, you can make sure that your team can deliver a website that inspires, engages, and delights your users and potential customers.

Book a client-fit call today and see how we can design a good website together!

Key takeaways

  • The web design brief is important when you’re trying to create a website because this is what keeps your teams aligned throughout the process.
  • Your website needs different pages depending on what you’re trying to achieve with it. Let your team know whether you want to sell products, use it as a catalog, or showcase online content on your website.
  • The sitemap is what helps you plan out the journey your site visitors will have and makes sure your site is easy to navigate.
  • Have your brand guide, or at least a concept of what visuals you want for your brand, ready to make sure your site and all your marketing materials match your visual identity.
  • Don’t forget to know your target audience so you can create your content, navigation, and designs specifically for them.
  • Give a concrete deadline for when you expect things to get finished.
  • Our agency clients get regular creative calls with our creative director so they can sort out their ideas for the website design brief better.