If you’re planning to have a new website, or improve your existing site, you should put your requirements down on paper in the form of a project brief.
I see a lot of briefs for new websites and redesigns. Some are well thought out, detailed and show a good understanding of how the web can be used to practical advantage by nonprofit organisations. Unfortunately many are not written like this. It’s not uncommon for me to read a brief and afterwards have no idea what the charity actually wants done; or in extreme cases to be given just one or two sentences explaining what they want.
There are good reasons for this: charities don’t always understand the Internet; they underestimate how much staff time they’ll need to devote in the planning stage; they don’t realise how much information a web designer will need; they don’t know the jargon; and sometimes they want someone else to do all the thinking for them.
Just published – on the Boagworld website – is a great guide to putting together a successful website project brief: 10 things never to leave out of a web design brief. I hope it’s helpful.