Web Design Field Guide

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By | Oct 22, 2015

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Whenever the topic of documenting and formulating a plan for a web project crops up, it is almost inevitable that a controversy between the appropriateness of using either a project brief or creative brief has to arise. Sure, the two types of briefs may seem similar on the paper. However, a difference in preference as seen between those on the IT/technology wing against the marketers/branders has always caused a rift between the two factions. The IT/technology party, for example, has always shown more preference to the project brief while the creative brief has always been the brief of choice for marketers/branders.

An Overview of the Two Briefs

Web Design Project Brief
A project brief offers a general idea or the big picture of any IT project at hand. This ensures that all the main details, including challenges expected, are made clear and understood by parties involved in the project.

Web Design Creative Brief:
A creative brief, on the other hand, is a document agreed upon between a client and the creative team before any work can commence. The document is usually a compilation of everything agreed between the two parties through meetings, discussions, interviews, and reading.

Why You Need to Utilize Both Project and Creative Briefs in Your Web Projects

The Web offers you an excellent opportunity to use both project and the creative brief. In fact, these types of projects call for a combined use of both briefs for the following reasons;

  • The success of any web project relies on many aspects such as audience needs and motivations which is beyond the technical concerns on which a project brief places too much emphasis.
  • A web project should encompass various aspects such as a robust technology capable of meeting the growing web traffic demands, honoring specific set budget and meeting deadlines. These are some of the areas neglected by the creatives who, in a majority of cases, are only focused on various nebulous concerns.

As such, the best way to approach any web project is to leverage the assets of both briefs which, therefore, results in a more inclusive method that guarantees more success. In our case, we’ll name the inclusive approach as the web design field guide.

A Combination of the Traditional Creative Brief and Project Brief: The Web Design Field Guide

Simply put, this guide encompasses the roles of both the project and creative briefs in the success of a web project. For this reason, it serves as a reference guide to be used by all team members in helping them understand how to complete a particular project. Conversely, the field guide should also serve as a document that sets everything clear in regards to the objectives and goals agreed upon by the parties involved in the initiative.

Factors to Consider When Crafting an Effective Web Design Field Guide

  1. Overview: This section outlines how the field guide is expected to improve the problem at hand and how a particular project contributes to achieving the same. As such, the guide should answer questions such as; what should the project be like? Why do you need it?
  2. People: This section highlights various roles in the project and the people responsible to serve in various capacities.
  3. Background: This section explains the context in which the project is to be carried out. It should, therefore, highlight the product and service being offered, the targeted client, a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the initiative, etc.
  4. Constraints: Here, you’ll need to define all the projected limitations or restrictions that might hamper the success of the web project. This could include the possibility of a budget shortage, insufficient time, etc.
  5. Drivers: This section deals with defining all the goals and objectives that the initiative in question should accomplish at the end of the day if it is to be regarded as successful.
  6. Audience: This outlines the targeted users to benefit from the web project being designed. You’ll therefore need to gather all the necessary information on your audience to understand them well and subsequently create a product/service that will appeal them.
  7. Tone: This defines the type of communication method to adopt in an attempt to reach your audience. Should it be friendly, a little casual or professional?
  8. Message: This is the information you’ll want to be relayed you to your targeted audience. What do you want your targeted audience to understand about you, your service or product?
  9. Assets: You may want to consider using various pre-existing assets such as images or technology to complete your current project.
  10. Competition: This section should help you understand your competitors well which, therefore, allows you to compete better with them.

The Combination Provides the Best Path and Overview for the Web Design / Development Project

To this end, it is evident that you’ll need to use both project and creative briefs to increase your chances of steering your web projects to success. A combination of the two briefs offers you the valuable web design field guide that if followed correctly, gives you an edge over your competitors while minimizing your failure rates.

Have a new web project or idea you'd like to explore?  You have come to the right place!

At 92 West, we craft each proposal to incorporate this field guide (an overview if you will) to assist us throughout the development of any project.  We offer a comprehensive proposal that itemizes each section. No surprises in work to be done as well as costs associated with each task.

Call 402.620.2633 or click the link request a web design quote today!

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