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“I didn’t order this” or why do I need a brief for website development?

Often, the customer does not know the warehouses of the report team, but rather that he is a formalist and "knows and understands everything". In practice, it is not a good idea to make it to the financial costs, to delay the schedule of the project, etc.

What is a brief?

Wikipedia reads: “The brief is a brief written form of conciliation between the parties planning to cooperate, setting out the main parameters of the future deal”. In other words, by filling in the brief, you get the assurance that the executor has understood all your requirements correctly and agrees to implement them within a specified time frame with a certain budget.

In this way, you secure yourself against misinterpretation of your ideas, and the executor insures himself against a sharp change in your mood. As our experience has shown, even a minor misunderstanding can turn into weeks and months of fruitless work. You should agree that a few hours of filling in the brief are worth it, so that further cooperation will pass without a bitch and a hitch.

Additional benefits of filling in the brief

Confidence in cooperation is quite a serious fact that confirms the necessity of the brief, but it is not the only one. Many customers do not realize how useful this procedure is for them. Below is a list of additional advantages of this tool:

  • you start to understand what you want. Creation and promotion of the site – a very multi-layered process that requires the involvement of different types of specialists: from programmers and designers, to sharks of advertising – marketers. Filling out the brief, you try on the clothes of the above employees.  You start to feel your target audience more accurately, to feel the strengths and weaknesses of the project you are planning, to find mistakes on the competitors’ resources and use them for your own purposes. All this leads to the fact that the project of your site from the abstract becomes as concrete and clear as possible;
  • saving your own time, money and nerve cells. Now you do not have to clutch your phone fidgety, once again explaining to the designer how dark salad color differs from light green. everything is agreed in advance in the brief;
  • the ability to plan a budget. The brief is full. The price is named and it is final (unless, of course, the parties agree to change some point in the process due to force majeure).

Are there equivalent alternatives to the Brief?


There are no such effective and convenient alternatives for both parties. Ways to convey their desires to the customer – a lot: a personal meeting, correspondence, communication with the help of applications for video calls. But neither of them can even get close to the brief. During the “live” communication, you will be asked the same questions as in the brief. The difference is that when you fill out the form by yourself, you slowly work through each item of the form, plunging into the topic and finding the most acceptable option.

But this is not even the main thing. The average person is able to memorize seven information units in one period of time (plus/minus two). Even the most horrible version of the brief consists of dozens of points, sub-items, clarifications, and notes, which are extremely difficult to cover and work through in “one sitting”.

Contents of quality brief

Do not be afraid of the large number of pages and the presence of incomprehensible narrow terms. All questions are arranged in a scheme: from simple to complex, from small to large.  You have to fill in such items:

  • peculiarity of your project and the supposed target audience. The first and one of the most important points on which all further strategy of resource creation and promotion will depend;
  • the goals and objectives for which you need the site. Will it be an information portal, a resource offering services, a small business card or online store. Do you want to create a project for communication, trade, or want to occupy a certain sphere of influence;
  • preferred site design. In this paragraph you write about the color palette, fonts, necessary images. If there are developments or corporate style, you specify;
  • image parameters. This site will surprise users with a spectacular image, good interactivity, intuitive interface (or all together);
  • the budget needed to build and develop your site. You have a kilo of gold and you want the site to read minds and look like a canvas by Michelangelo. Or you have change from the supermarket and enough for the site to just start;
  • deadline requirements. Directly depends on the type of Internet site and the number of unique ideas that the performer must implement. Our experience suggests that this point most often becomes a stumbling block between the customer and the contractor. Well, it is impossible to create a quality online store in two days;
  • examples of sites you liked. Not necessarily a lot, but it is important that they reveal your vision of the project as accurately as possible. In addition, the examples perfectly illustrate the small details that you liked (feedback form, built-in calculator, etc.).

And last but not least: the brief serves well as an official field for compromises, where the only true strategy for developing or promoting the site, based on the customer’s wishes, the artist’s capabilities and the mood of the market, is the common effort.

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