Writing my First Brief for Major Website Design Changes

Working with a high profile client puts pressure on your psyche. You want to first of all do a good job but perfectionism can take over sometimes. It can be better to make mistakes than try and do it perfect, just make sure you learn on the way. Here’s what I did…

Writing a business brief - online marketing

I used a similar approach of suggesting freework to begin my current project that has spanned over the past 3 months. I have put an exceptional amount of effort into this project, more so than I believed I even had – but it didn’t stop me making mistakes. Here’s a few things (in brief) I should outline I’ve been doing.

  • Creating a mailing list
  • Luring people to the website
  • Optimising the blog and social media accounts
  • Editing audio and uploading it to the iTunes store

Part of the first bullet point involved writing a major brief to web developers and keeping it crystal clear and simple for them to understand my vision of the site. This was something that was highlighted to me by my client, he entertained and believed in the vision I had for his website and book. But I had never written it down, it was very unclear. My first mistake. Always let your client know where you aim to take them, seems simple right? Of course. But I was very caught in the mechanics of my own thoughts in what it will do and why it should be done. I’d never simply written, laid it out, or given a vision.

The process of going through this taught me a few lessons. Whilst my initial proposal was good, once I’d gotten through the door I came across my own stumbling blocks. These are ones I accept because it was my first time doing it, I’m just glad I have the self awareness to write and document it here. I only hope for positive change in the future. Whilst the project isn’t over yet, [which is why I have not written on my marketing journal in a while] I just thought it was better to recap.

Some things I would do differently?

There’s a few streams of emails that created a thread. Somewhere in these emails, text got separated or all ideas weren’t included in these threads, suddenly there was 4 or 5 emails flying around so keeping on track of conversational topic was hard, it also made referencing previous emails very difficult. About midway through this I started writing my biggest ideas and suggestions in Powerpoint and Word documents so they could always be downloaded. Was this the right choice? I don’t know it made sense to do it at the time.

The positives to takeaway?

Well I became incredibly competent at using Mail Chimp. I know the provider inside out. Also from designing a HTML subscription form (with the help of a friend) I am a lot more comfortable coding HTML itself, I would never class myself as a web designer though. I know just the right amount of basics to get through and edit my website on my own.

The biggest positive was being delegated work to complete by my client. This may sound odd, but I still feel like an amateur, but the fact he treated me like I knew what I was doing actually allowed me to perform to the highest standard. He is not a control freak like some could be, he allows me to get on and I just send him weekly updates of my current work, or asking questions on moving forward.

Where is the project now?

I’m not ready to talk about it publicly yet or who I was working for. However the stage it’s at: the final brief has gone to the web developers and with some minor clearing up of information the work should be underway very soon. Once these essential changes are done I can begin to put together a second proposal to take my client even further and higher than he is right now.

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