There are evidently many questions that can be asked from the outset to develop good brief and no doubt you’ve collated many of them already. From my perspective I want to know 4 things: The objective, the assets available, as much about the audience as possible and the journey you’d like them to take. With these questions answered you will be very well armed to create an utterly storming brief.
What are your KEY objectives for this project?
What is your minimum budget for this project?
What is your expected (or absolute) deadline date(s)?
What will a successful project have accomplished for you (over what timeframe)?
What branding requirements, guidelines, restrictions are there?
Resources and Assets:
What functionality would you like to explore?
What kind of CMS will fit your project?
How would you like to manage your assets ie. Text content and images?
Which other resources might you need to consider for your project ie images, copy?
Defining the Audience:
Who do you want to visit your site?
What is the one most important action you would like your customer to perform whilst on your site?
How are new and existing visitors going to find your new site?
What access essentials does your project require?
What are your current customer impressions of your product or service?
How does that perception fit with your new project?
How would you like this perception to change, develop or influence your customers?
What sort of tone of voice will be adopted, how do you wish deliver your messages?
Who are your main competitors? What are they doing well?
How will you drive traffic to the site?
What is the unique or primary domain name you will be using?
Is your domain relevant and informational?
What are the key message requirements that will be presented immediately on the home page?
What are the required outcomes (minimum and maximum) for your visitors?
What are the key categories that will help define the navigation?
Next time: Wireframes – the bedrock of a good site.
Please pass comment if you have your own ideas about what makes a great brief. This list is definitely not exhaustive.