Write the perfect website brief for your agency
March 11, 2021
A while ago, my wife and I were complaining that our kitchen was falling apart. We had a tiny fridge and the door hinge had broken (I had masterfully fixed it with sellotape and it held together for 4 years like that). The backs of the units had all come off (I had masterfully fixed it by stuffing VHS tapes behind it that held for 5 years). The handles on the drawers were broken (I had masterfully… never mind… you get the idea). So we decided that the next thing that breaks is a sign that we need to change the kitchen. The next day our oven blew up. Our decision was made, we needed a new kitchen.
We started looking at all the usual places. We went to the big DIY shops and big chain kitchen shops. The people we spoke to were all perfectly polite and helpful and spent a good hour helping us draw up a plan for the new kitchen. They were drawing up what we were asking for and trying to stay in our budget, but we were doing the designing and as much as I know a lot about sellotape and VHS tapes, I don’t know all that much about kitchens so we found it difficult to get to something we were happy with.
We decided to check out a small local kitchen shop that has some nice fancy kitchens on show. We thought it would be outside our budget but went for a look anyway. The owner had been running it for 20 years and within 5 minutes, had given us more ideas and suggestions than all the previous sales people put together. We sat down with him for half the afternoon and he designed our perfect kitchen. He made good use of all the little spaces that we were just going to put filler panels on, made us choose all the right appliances (who knew an induction hob can change your life so much) and he worked it all out so it was the best we could get for our budget.
Like many things, this got me thinking about creating websites!
Over Christmas, I dug out all the briefs and RFPs we had received over the 9 and a bit years of Pixeled Eggs. I was trying to see if I could put together a guide for “how to write the perfect website brief” and being a nerd, I wrote some scripts to analyse things like which words appeared most in the briefs. I looked at lots of other such guides and there are some excellent ones that tell you what you need to consider and it’s all good advice. They all say:
But what they all lack, is that 2 hours of sitting down with someone experienced who can help you plan, ask the right questions, and offer suggestions that will ultimately mean a better brief and therefore a better product.
Now, I love pitching! It’s exhilarating and fun and I never want to stop pitching and when it all comes together on a good pitch, it’s an amazing feeling. But all this made me wonder why pitches can’t be in the format of a 2 hour two-way discussion on the requirements to formulate a brief. Both the agency and the client get a lot more out of it and as the client, you’ll get to see exactly what the people in the agency are like and it’s less likely you’d be seeing the work that some excellent freelancer has put together for the pitch and won’t be around to deliver.
There is huge value in planning a brief together. When I went through the old briefs, some were really well thought out and detailed, some didn’t include anywhere near enough information and some were heavy on one area (usually tech) and didn’t include any other useful information. By planning a brief together with an agency, you also get consistency and the right questions get asked and the right amount of detail gets covered.
So we’ve decided that’s something we’re going to offer as part of the service. If you need a new website, we will run a requirements meeting and help you write the brief. At the end of it, you end up with the answers to all the right questions to help any agency you choose build you the best possible product (of course, we hope that agency would be us, but if not, we hope you’ll send us a lot of haribo instead).
If your website is currently held together with sellotape and you’re thinking of a new project, get in touch with us and we will help you write the best brief.
Incidentally, the most used word in the briefs is “Content”. Content is what helps you grow!