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Web Design Checklist: Streamline Your Website Project Onboarding Process

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When it’s time to build your website, a detailed website brief is your road map to success. A website brief is a document that outlines your project goals, requirements, and constraints. It allows a prospective web services provider to ascertain whether they are the right fit for the project and what the project timeline and budget will be. In short, a detailed brief:

  • Gives clarity to the project scope
  • Saves time on project discovery
  • Reduces the likelihood of costly assumptions

Now, let’s delve into the essential components of a web design checklist that clients should provide to streamline the onboarding process.

What is a Web Design Checklist

A web design checklist is a comprehensive document that helps website builders understand the client’s needs, preferences, and project objectives. It acts as a blueprint for the entire web development process, ensuring that both parties are on the same page and that the project progresses smoothly.

9-Step Web Design Checklist

1. Give us an overview of your organisation

When it comes to providing your website builder with information about your organization, clarity is key. Begin by sharing:

  • When your organisation was established
  • Where your organisation operates
  • The main products or services you offer

Additionally, provide insights into your organisation’s identity:

  • What your organisation is known for
  • Your vision and mission
  • How you differentiate yourself from competitors

Highlight the main messages you want your website to convey, especially if you have an existing content strategy.

Overview of Organisation

2. Give us an overview of the problems you are solving

Explain the overarching business problem your website should address:

  • Are you aiming to drive sales, build brand awareness, or generate leads?
  • What specific business function will the website support?
  • If revamping an existing site, why is this necessary?

Share user feedback, pain points, and your likes and dislikes about your current web presence. Identify processes that could be streamlined or improved.

Overview of problems

3. Tell us about your target audience

To create a website that meets your goals, your website builder needs to understand your target audience. Provide information on:

  • Typical client profiles
  • Sectors and geographies your clients operate in
  • Problems your clients seek to solve

Consider whether your audience can be segmented into groups with distinct needs, and define what actions on the website constitute “success.

Target Audience

4. Include a competitor analysis

Include a list of five direct competitors and five aspirational competitors. If possible, note what you like and dislike about their websites. This information will guide the website strategy.


5. Outline the website scope and features

Describe the structure of your prospective website’s navigation and list major features that need to be developed. Examples include user registration, e-commerce, blogging, events, knowledge centers, and more. Provide brief descriptions and reference links where possible.

Scope & Features

6. Outline project responsibilities

Specify who will be responsible for various aspects of the project:

  • Design: Share brand guidelines, existing branding collateral, and preferences for fonts, colors, and photography.
  • Content: Indicate if you’ll provide content or need copywriting services.
  • Imagery: Mention if you have professional photography or require custom photography services.
  • Translations: If the site is multilingual, clarify translation needs.
  • Post-launch: Outline your marketing and content update plans.
Project Responsibilities

7. How will you measure success?

Define metrics to assess the website’s success. Consider Google Analytics, subscriber growth, lead generation, event registrations, and other relevant indicators. Ensure that your metrics are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Measure Success

8. Include legal and technical requirements

Share legal and technical considerations, such as accessibility requirements, compliance with regulations (e.g., GDPR), preferred CMS, payment gateways, CRM integration, hosting requirements, and third-party API integrations.


9. Outline the project timeline, key contacts, and vendor requirements

Provide details about the project timeline, including proposal due dates, review periods, kick-off dates, and target launch dates. Specify the number of team members involved, points of contact, and any vendor requirements or expectations.



How long will it take to write a website brief?

It typically takes 2-3 weeks to compile a detailed website brief. The more detailed your brief, the more time you can save later on during the project scoping phase.

How long should a website brief be?

As long as you need it to be! Ensuring it has all the elements for us to get started on your website build, the length shouldn’t matter. As a guide, typically, the briefs we receive are anywhere between 2-8 pages long.

What is the purpose of a website brief?

The purpose of a website brief is to establish the key goals and requirements of a web development project so that a prospective web vendor can respond with a detailed project proposal, outlining project costs and timelines.

The Conclusion

In conclusion, a well-prepared web design checklist and brief are crucial for a successful website project. Clients can use this checklist to provide their website builders with the necessary information to streamline the onboarding process, ensuring a clear and efficient path toward a successful website launch.


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