It's fantastic when you receive a well organised, concise and considered brief. Where the client has thought of everything and it's all laid out nicely for you! In truth this doesn't happen.
How can it? Even the most savvy client will not have experienced the web to the extent that we have. I don’t mean this is a derogatory way but we are supposed to be the experts and we feel that part of our role should be to help shape the brief by adding our knowledge and experience to take things further, to consider stuff that they simply don’t know about….that’s our job, right?
Without doubt a well considered brief is a great starting point. It gets the ball rolling and opens up conversation. Following receipt of the brief and after digesting it in depth we like to have a kick off meeting with the client project team. Here we will review the brief and ask lots of questions. Something we’ve started doing with larger, more complex organisations is stakeholder interviews and these work out rather well.
Stake holder interviews
The problem with workshops or group meetings is that nearly always they are dominated by 1 or 2 people. Getting a range of people across the organisation on a one to one basis helps us get a clearer picture of the business requirements as a whole. Meetings with a single person including the MD, Finance, Marketing, Operations, HR etc. is hugely beneficial in understanding what each part of the business needs from a website solution.
Types of questions might include:-
- The individuals role within the business
- The challenges faced by your part of the business
- The key functions that might assist you
- The target market
- Your competition
Obviously there will be more web specific questions about features, generating content, resources available within the business to manage their websites content, how users will consume the content (desktop / mobile) etc.
What to do with the information
It’s important that the information gathered at the interviews are considered and presented back to the project team in a format that then makes clear recommendations. These recommendations often extend or simplify the original brief. It includes the clients initial thoughts with detailed focus on additional key business needs along with our suggestions and recommendations. This results in a new brief which forms the ideal platform from which to start your web project.
Don’t worry if you’ve not fully considered everything or if everything is ‘in your head’! Don’t feel that you need to wait until you’ve created beautifully crafted documents to support your requirements – we want to speak with you now.