Specifying Website Requirements

The way that you specify your requirements and present the information for your website to the designer is very important. If you get the specification wrong and your website designer does what you tell him this may mean additional charges. Listen to what your designer tells you and ensure that you are both “singing from the same hymn sheet”. The web site build process can take a few weeks for larger sites. Speaking as a designer it can be very frustrating when a significant amount of time is spent on part of a site only for the client to view it and tell me, “That’s not what I meant”. You should therefore help your web designer by ensuring that the information you provide is clear and unambiguous.
Get the Website Specification you Want
It is normally better that you list your requirements in writing (email will do) and follow this up with an explanatory telephone call. Some tips on how to make your information clear and unambiguous are listed below.

  • You will have agreed the number of pages that you require. In your instructions provide a heading for each page. For example the home page, about us page, testimonials page, products page, etc.
  • Underneath each page heading insert the text content that you want on that page.
  • If you have images to be added specify exactly where you want them to be positioned on the page if this is critical. Otherwise you can leave this to your designer. You can define the position by inserting a note in brackets near the text where you want the image to appear or by adding other clear information. If any additional information or captions are required for the image please ensure that you let your designer have these.
  • Sending large images by email can cause problems and they are unnecessary anyway. Your website designer will have to reduce them to the appropriate resolution when they arrive. If you do not know how to do this talk to your designer about it before sending them.
  • Ensure that all images are referenced properly so that the designer can find them in your instructions. It is important that your designer can correlate the image filename to your instructions. This may sound obvious but we have had people send us ten images of people we don’t know with the instruction, “put the picture of George on the home page”. This is not much help when your web designer does not know George from George Bush.
  • You should try to ensure that your main instructions to the designer are on no more than one or two emails. We have had clients send us 25 emails with instructions and another 20 with images. Collating this is very difficult and it leads to inaccuracies and impedes the site development process.
  • Remember that you are paying for your website designer’s time. Make it easy for him or her to get your site designed quickly and efficiently. You could save yourself money by doing so.

Words translated by CCJK


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