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Icon or Spacer Macromedia Website Production Management Techniques Phase 2: Define
Establishing Requirements

Communicating clearly to the client and the team is a constant challenge. While the overall scope, budget and deliverables have been outlined in the project plan, it is important to dive into a bit more detail with specific requirements documentation for more complicated projects. Understanding the overall creative vision, the technical requirements and the audience goals are a few briefs that can be created to confirm client expectations. These documents are based on the client survey and any additional marketing or research information. These documents should be concise and to the point—they are designed to be the bridge between client expectations and the development team to make sure everyone is on the same page at the project's outset. The shorter they are, the more people will read and remember them.

 
Writing a Creative Brief
The creative brief is used to establish high-level visual and conceptual goals. The creative brief is usually a one- to two-page document that restates your understanding of project as a whole—the target audience, the user experience goals and communication strategy. It also describes tone, guidelines and overall objectives of the site. The creative brief should expand on information collected in the client questionnaire and through interviews with the client. Authors of the brief vary—sometimes marketing, sometimes project management and sometimes creative. In some cases the client may also have created a similar document that outlines the project or company positioning and vision.
 
Writing a Technical Brief
In Web development, establishing technical requirements can be an entire project, schedule and budget all on its own. The complexity lies in the detail—what are the technical (front- and back-end) needs of the project, and how do we utilize technology to meet our goals? The technical brief is a much simpler document that outlines the desired technology and how it will be applied to the site. What are the user's requirements for browser, platform and connection speeds? Are there technologies or plug-ins that may pose potential problems down the road? This is a chance for the technical team to identify what types of functionality will occur on the site, and also give them a chance to plan for scalability and growth. This document should establish scope for the technical portions of the project, outlining as much detail as necessary to gain consensus within the team and with the client.
 
Outlining Strategy and Approach
A Web site, like a business plan, needs a strategy. Overall goals and objectives have been defined—but how will you meet those goals? If the goal is to bring new users to your site—how will you engage them on and off line? If the goal is to convert users into buyers—how will you convince them? If the goal is to get more customers to complete the ordering process—how will you make the site easier to use? Understanding these goals and coming up with compelling solutions is a challenge. Outline your approach from branding and marketing to navigation and content. Come up with targeted solutions to the perceived problems, and state them clearly and concisely.
 
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Analyzing Your Industry
Understanding Your Audience
 Define
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Goals and Objectives
Creating a Project Plan
Establishing Requirements
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