So you’re ready to hire an agency like Smart And Slick to create a new website for your organisation or to make changes to an existing online presence. Fantastic! But in order to ensure that you get what you want and that the project is completed on time and on budget, we need to learn to communicate with each other.
Web design is a very specialised and therefore jargon-rich discipline. So it can often be difficult for clients to accurately explain what they want to the design team. This is where the web design brief comes in.
We’re not saying that this is the way every company asks for a web design brief, but this is the method we currently use, that works for us.
If a website needs to have any functionality, above and beyond the end-user (probably your customers and staff) being able to read text from pages, you need to explain who needs to be able to do what. We do this with user stories.
A user story is a 3 line description that explains what each end user type needs to be able to achieve with the website.
As a customer,
I want to login to my account
So that I can add products to my cart
Do you get the idea? The first line establishes who the end-user is in this particular story, the second line simply states what the user wants to be able to do, and the final line explains why the user needs that capability.
You can write as many user stories as you need to in order to record all the different functionalities a website needs to have.
As the owner,
I want to receive an SMS message when somebody places an order
So that I can dispatch orders quickly and reduce delivery time.
These simple three line user stories help keep the design brief as simple as it can be while giving us a format in which it’s difficult for us to miss anything out when we build the project. We simply run through the web design brief and tick them off as we build the functionalities.
If there are particular features you want but you don’t know the technical name for them, it’s easy enough just to describe them as best you can, and send us links to sites that already have that feature. Then, we’ll run through practical considerations in a consultation meeting.