Tight briefs

Tight briefs

As with most building projects, when constructing a website, the foundations need to be solid. The starting point to a great website is the brief – the tighter the better!

Getting a sense of things

The account exec of the agency needs to provide the designer with an understanding of your business, competitors, clients and the industry so that the studio can figure out what kind of tone or style is needed to connect with your audience. Classic, formal, loose and funky, modern and flashy or understated and simple. It is important for both client and agency to lose subjectivity or personal tastes and focus on presenting the brand correctly.

What’s the point?

Get a very clear idea of the purpose of the website. You shouldn’t build a website just for the sake of it. What do you want to achieve from a business and branding perspective? Increased exposure? Another sales channel? Electronic brochure? Functional? Whatever the reason, keep it in line with business objectives.

If you want to use the website to generate sales, for example, a good design studio will make sure that it is designed in such a way as to encourage visitors to the site to buy your product or service. If the website is meant purely to provide information, then it will have to be set out that way, making it easy to read and digest the information. Having a clear purpose is often the difference between the website working for you or not.

There are project milestones to ensure the website is moving in the right direction.

Studio will work towards a creative concept, making sure it fits the brief presented. We then present to client for comment. Then, we’ll start pulling content together and envisage the structure of the website. We then create a mock-up to present to the client, before moving to coding. Once approved by the client, we then complete the website.

Getting it right.

The brief is the most important part of the process.

If the brief is loose or uncertain, then it is almost guaranteed that both studio and client will lose money on the project through re-works, additional meetings and anti-depressants!

The account exec of the digital design agency holds the key by guiding the client, asking the right questions and interpreting the answers correctly.

Elsa Haasbroek
Lead designer & studio head
March 2008

Sherpa Brand & Design Agency