Website designing starts with clients specifying their needs on paper. The first project specification should come from clients. Web design and development companies want to hear from their clients. They are looking forward for detailed project specifications to start working on the projects.
Let’s discuss how project specification could lead in successful and timely completion of projects
1# General info about client
The client introduces his business to the developer. The info includes:
- Company name
It is important for a developer to know who his client is and what business the client is doing. The info is helpful in understanding the targeted segment and customers and also in determining level of competition. The developer can make an opinion and provide the best quotation on the basis of the general info shared by the client.
2# Designing or Redesigning
The client needs specifying whether the project involves designing a new site or the developer has to work on an existing site. If you have a website but you want to create a new site, you should share the link of the existing site with the developer. Or you can share links of your competitor sites to help the developer in getting a feel of your site. Or you can prepare a blueprint of the site and ask the developer to improve the design using his knowledge and experience.
Not every site is generated for leads or sales and also not all sites sell products. Every website has an objective and it reflects the business the site represents. If the developer gets a feel of the site, he can create a better design and also determine functions and features of the site.
Some expectations clients have with their sites are:
- Introduction to a new product or service
- Increasing visitor to your website
- Portfolio or presentation
Info on expectation helps developer determine areas he should focus on. For instance, if the site is introducing a product, its design should reflect the product design and features.
4# Website type
The biggest challenge before a developer is selection of a platform or custom solution for website design. And it is only a client that can specify what type of his site is.
- Corporate presentation
- Social network
- Website with specific features and functionality
It is only after knowing website type that a developer could select a CMS and start making the site using a template. Or the developer would start making the site from scratch.
What should be number of pages on site and whether the site would be bilingual or multilingual? The designer should get answers to all questions related to website structure in the project specification. An ecommerce site could have hundreds of pages but a corporate site would have only a couple of pages. Adding more pages is a time consuming page but designing a four-page website is no easy job either. The designer would create the home page according to the number of pages the site includes.
6# Static or Dynamic
Clients might not be aware about static or dynamic sites but they can indicate their preference by answering the following question.
Q: Do you want to change content of your site or it is an agency that will change the content as and when required?
If you want to use the content for long time then you need a static site. The developer won’t think of using a CMS that is for clients that want to change their website content frequently. Dynamic site content is changeable using a CMS.
The most important of part of website designing is making it functional and a designer needs info on functionality of a site he is designing from client.
Examples of website functionality:
- The site wants the visitors to register and the site sends confirmation mails to the registered members
- The website has different categories and sub-categories that open in drop down menu
- The site has filters to narrow down search options
- It is responsive to various platforms
If you want the site to be responsive to mobiles and tablets, you need mentioning it separately as the developer will have to start working on responsive design from scratch. Anything you want the site to do should be conveyed to the designer.
It is the most important concern for client as well as for designers. You have a budget in mind and also your designer wants to make profit from your project. The designer would give the best price quote with his suggestions on selection of platform and features only after knowing your budget. For instance an ecommerce site can be designed on Magento and also on Shopify. But former will be expensive than latter. If you need a custom design online store at reduced price then it would be on Shopify.
Every project comes with a deadline and if the designer isn’t aware about the deadline, he won’t be able to complete the project on time. Also deadline has a say in the final cost of the project. If you need a project to be quick, the designer has to set all the projects aside and work on your site. But he will charge more for quick service. Discussing deadline with designer is necessary so that he can manage his work to complete the designing work within the deadline.
10# Additional information
As a client and owner of a website, you can describe what your site is about, what you want to with the site and how you envision your website. It will be a big help for the designer, if you can aware and educate him about everything related to your site. Include every piece of information in project specification before concluding the document. Also don’t forget to go through the document to remove typos that can create communication gap.
The above discussion should be sufficient to let you understand value of project specification. It is like a comprehensive project guide for your designer or the design firms that you will approach for website designing.
The benefits you will have with the specification document are:
1# Time saving
The project specification report will save time of the designer. He would work according to the report and avoid disturbing you for trivial matters like background color and whether there should be background music. He can save time and complete the project on time.
2# Cost saving
The project specification will let the designer understand needs and come up with a customized service plan. He can cut cost wherever possible and in this way make the project affordable for you.
3# Better design
You want your site to be the best and it is possible only when your designer understands your needs. The project specification will help him keep a tab over errors that are seen at testing level. He can keep the design up to the mark and choose the features that will make your site fully functional.
You will get the site you are dreaming of. The designer will accommodate all your preset as well as future needs after going through your project specification report.