business design technology

A Web design essential: the Request for Proposal

Audience, Content, and Functionality

Please tell me what needs you have. 

  1. Who will be your audience?  
    1. What types of visitors do you want to attract (demographics)?  
    2. What are your goals for each type of visitor?  
    3. What are the products/services involved?  
    4. What are your goals for these products/services?  
    5. How technically savvy is your expected audience? Will most be oh high-speed connections, or on dial-up?
    6. How large to you expect your user base to be?
  2. Where will content come from?  
    1. Will the web site content be new, re-purposed, or both?  
    2. If the copy you provide has errors in it, who will spend the time to fix it?  
    3. How often will you add new content to your site?  
    4. Who will maintain and update the content?
  3. What functional requirements do you have?  
    1. Which of these features do you desire?    
      1. Download areas (software, PDFs, images, audio or video, etc.)    
      2. Database-driven content / content management system    
      3. E-Commerce (see item b below)
      4. Blog
      5. Online community
      6. Forum / Message board
      7. Catalog    
      8. Applications    
      9. Forms/surveys    
      10. Site search    
      11. Banner ads
      12. Accessibility for mobile devices    
      13. Other  
    2. E-Commerce details    
      1. How many products will you be selling online?    
      2. Who will be entering product data?
      3. Will you include product photographs, and if so, will you need help in creating the photographs or optimizing them for web?    
      4. How will transactions be managed?
      5. Do you already have an internet-compliant merchant account?  
    3. Who will update these features?  
    4. Are there extraordinary security issues?  
    5. What types of legacy systems are in place? Are there any of the following which must be used?    
      1. Server software    
      2. Operating system    
      3. Application servers    
      4. Database    
      5. Other  
    6. Will you need analysis of your web site traffic?  
    7. Are there other technical issues or limitations?
  4. Domain name
    1. Do you need a new domain name?
    2. Will you need help in creating, choosing, or obtaining a domain name?
  5. Web Hosting
    1. How will the site be served/hosted?
    2. Have you budgeted for hosting and maintenance of the site?  If so, what is your budget?  
    3. Do you need help in obtaining Web hosting?
  6. What are your design requirements?  
    1. Do you have color palette and font treatment requirements/preferences?  
    2. Do you have corporate identity guidelines that must be followed?  
    3. How should the site “feel” and what should it communicate to the visitor about your company?  
    4. Do you desire any animated or interactive elements? How are they going to be used? 


Next: Prioritize your Needs…

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