“If you do not talk about what you want, it may never become real.” V. Sinyavsky.
Probably, everyone is familiar with the situation when, after a long and painstaking work on the development of the site, when (as it seemed to the developer) everything possible and impossible has already been done, the customer accepts the work and … to put it mildly, sees not at all what he wanted. And the endless mode of edits is turned on, from which both sides suffer: the customer’s deadlines are flying, perhaps budgets are flying (because the developer will not do all the edits for free), well, the performer is frustrated that his “ideal brainchild” has to be shredded and cut anew instead of finally taking a new order.
Such situations arise most often for one elementary reason: at the very beginning of the relationship, mutual understanding was not reached between the parties, clear agreements were not recorded. To avoid such misunderstandings, it is always necessary to draw up a detailed brief before starting any project.
A brief is a document in which all the tasks of the project are described in great detail and unambiguously, as well as information on the obligations of the customer and the contractor.
What gives the brief to the customer and the contractor?
1. General idea of the project, understanding of the niche.
It is impossible to create a cool site without understanding why, for whom and why this way and not otherwise. The site developer needs to study the customer’s field of activity well, understand the target audience, its needs and pains in order to find an approach to each segment and correctly present information in the finished product – the site.
2. Ordering relationships.
All oral discussions and agreements may end up being interpreted differently by the parties or not remembered at all. With the help of the brief, the customer and the contractor clearly fix the deadlines and cost of the work, as well as fundamentally important points in the project, features of the functionality and design of the future site, its content and much more.
A pre-compiled brief will protect both parties from wasting time and money, and in case of disagreement, each of the parties will be able to refer to written agreements.
4. Turning expectations into reality.
The more detailed and detailed you describe the nuances of the project in the brief, the more likely it is that the desired and the actual coincide.
What should be in the brief?
The brief usually includes the following items:
information about the company (name, field of activity, goods or services sold, etc.);
information about the corporate identity (whether there is a logo, corporate colors, corporate characters and images);
list of site tasks;
information about competitors;
information about the target audience (portrait of the buyer, target audience segmentation);
accents in design (on what information should the design focus the attention of the site visitor);
information about the Internet project (site tasks, structure, desired functionality, etc.);
requirements and wishes for design (stylistics, colors, graphics, illustrations, etc.);
additional information (any information useful in the work on the project).
An example of the brief on which we work with our customers can be viewed here.
Errors when working with a brief
Very often, even when drawing up a detailed brief, the final version does not turn out as we would like. This happens when the following errors are made:
The project must have a fixed deadline for its implementation, otherwise the work on the site can turn into an endless process. It is ideal when, in addition to the deadline for completing the work, the time for providing intermediate results is indicated (for example, the completion of one section).
Most often, it is the site developer who registers the domain name and hosting for the site. After completing their work, the developer no longer needs this data, and the customer simply forgets about it. After some time, the site stops working because no one renewed the hosting or domain name in time. To avoid such troubles, it is better for the customer to take responsibility for the safety of this data about his site.
Qualitative adjectives in Russian are adjectives that denote external signs of animate and inanimate objects that manifest themselves to a greater or lesser extent (for example, beautiful, big, funny, tasty, etc.).
Such adjectives should not be used when filling out the brief because it is impossible to achieve the same understanding by all parties. What is beautiful for one person may be completely ugly for another.
Again, due to different representations by different people of the same object (phenomenon, property, feature, etc.), problems of the following nature may arise:
The customer asked to add a geometric pattern as one of the design elements of all pages of the site, meaning something like this:
The developer added a geometric pattern to all pages:
Here we are talking about the fact that it is better not to leave any gaps and blank lines in the brief, otherwise everything that is not specified, the developer can do in his opinion and taste. Nobody says that everything will turn out 100% bad. It’s just that your view and the view of the performer may not coincide purely for subjective reasons. Answer all the questions in the brief in as much detail as possible. It is better to add additional columns to the brief template than to remove or leave the existing ones empty.
In this article, we wanted to show you how vital it is for your future website to correctly and clearly fill out such a pre-project document as a brief. Take the time to do this, because with the help of a brief it is much easier to later resolve all the differences that arise during the work. And the likelihood that these disagreements will not happen is much higher with a quality approach to the brief.