Website projects can range in size and scope from simple landing pages with one CTA to massive enterprise websites with a sitemap that can overwhelm even your best UX designer. So naturally, writing website creative briefs can range from super-simple to very complex. But no matter the size of your project, your website creative briefing process is critical for making sure your creative team and client are all on the same page.
Starting with a good creative brief template is key to success. If you don’t already have one you love working with, we’ve included a link to our free downloadable website creative brief. Here are some key considerations when filling out your next website creative brief.
Creative Brief Templates
Keep Projects Well Defined
Consider the Scope
Because website projects can range so much in scope, it’s important to review the size and budget of your project before you get started on the creative brief. Some clients don’t have a solid understanding of the work that goes into building a website, so if they’ve agreed on a simple templated design but begin requesting custom animations and interactive features, you’ll need to pull back on the creative reins pretty quickly. (Looking for advice? We have an article for how to effectively say “no” to clients without offending anyone or losing business.)
While outlining the budget and scope of a new website, you should have already covered a lot of the basic groundwork for how many features and custom designs will be involved in the project. But to avoid the creative briefing session turning into a runaway “let’s make all the things interactive!” session, come prepared with a rock-solid understanding of your project’s scope.
Know the Key Creatives
Some websites are very design-focused, whereas others are far more copy-heavy (and of course, many are both). Before starting a briefing session with your client, understand who the key creatives are on your project.
Although it’s all connected, your UX team will have different needs and questions than your graphic designers, and your copywriters and content strategists will be asking for something else entirely. While project continuity will require everyone to collaborate, it’s important to make sure you understand the different needs of each creative department within your project team. More often than not, your creatives will be happy to help outline the types of information they’re looking for.
Ask the Right Questions
Once you understand what your creatives need to know, it’s time to outline the right questions to ask. Offering the right prompts can help uncover creative insights into what your client wants to convey, but asking the wrong questions can result in uninspired briefs that don’t dig deep enough to prepare your creatives for a successful project.
Beyond the necessary need-to-know information that goes into a creative brief, you’ll want to be prepared to ask questions about the flow of the website, the tone and key messaging of the copy, and the call to action for each page.
Review and Refine
After a project wraps, take a moment to look back at your creative brief and review how accurate it was. Creative briefs will never be perfect because projects change and grow organically throughout the creative process. But ideally, you should be able to look back at your original brief and see how it lead your creatives to a successful end result. If not, you’re still missing something in your briefing session. It’s an ongoing learning process for even the most skilled project managers, but the important thing is to continuously review your completed projects and refine your future processes.
It takes time to develop a solid set of creative briefs that work for your creative and account teams. Get started with our free downloadable website design brief. Use our template as a guideline and adjust as necessary.
Natasha Carter is a Communications Manager at Function Point with a background in market research and strategic communications. She enjoys building high-value experiences for customers along their path to purchase.