Create effective website requirements
3.8 (14 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,755 students enrolled

Create effective website requirements

Ensure you're in control of your website's design process. Explore user needs and share the right info with the designer
3.8 (14 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,755 students enrolled
Published 6/2016
English [Auto]
Current price: $16.99 Original price: $24.99 Discount: 32% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 15 articles
  • 22 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • You will be able to create your own web design brief
  • You will become an expert in the planning out how to build a website
  • It would be useful to have Excel/Google Sheets, and Powerpoint/Google Slides. Apart from that, just be ready to learn!

Too many web design projects end badly, with websites that just don't deliver the results.

  • As a business owner or a marketing manager, you can take control
  •  Increase your chances of getting a website that really helps your business

At the end of this course... you'll have something in your hand:

A professional-level website brief to give to a web developer, web designer or agency.

It will be so good there's little chance they won't 'get it'. 

You will give them a deep level of understanding of your business and customers, and a clear set of requirements to explore.

This course gives you a tangible output that moves your business forward

The course contains:

  1. Actionable steps
  2. Downloadable worksheets
  3. Videos
  4. Examples and a bit of theory
  5. A final powerpoint template to insert your information into, and give to designers
What to expect…

You will need to dedicate around one hour per activity

Some of the material we cover: 
Business goals, buyer-personas, user-goals, brand story, wireframes and more.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is meant for people who are looking to hire a web designer to create their next website but are not sure where to start. The course is for complete newbies, small business owners, marketing managers, and entrepreneurs!
Course content
Expand all 30 lectures 01:07:20
+ Welcome to our course!
2 lectures 02:30

Hi there! Welcome to the first Digital Heart course. I'm Elite Avner, the brains behind our website, Digital Heart.

Creating an in-depth design brief is one of the most important steps in having a new website designed. Without a brief, everything can fall apart. We are going to guide you through each stage needed to complete the brief that you can then hand to a website developer or agency.

At the end of this course...

You will have created a professional-level website brief to give to a web developer/designer or agency. It will be so good there's little chance they won't 'get it'. You will give them a deep level of understanding of your business and customers, and a clear set of requirements for the website.

This course is the closest we could come to holding your hand without actually being there!

Our goal for this course is to guide you through the creation of the perfect design brief for your next web project while saving you the stress or hassle of walking into the unknown. We’ll provide you with

  • Actionable steps

  • Downloadable worksheets

What to expect…

Some lectures will introduce you to tasks that may take 2-3 hours to complete, things like analysing competitor websites and developing customer personas. Other tasks will be short and sweet.

We will send the emails every week day but if you end up a little behind schedule don't worry, the emails will be clearly numbered and you'll be able to complete tasks in your own time.

That’s it for our introduction, now lets get started.

Preview 01:38
+ Business goals & how those influence your website's requirements
2 lectures 02:18

Hello, welcome to the 1st section of our course, aimed at taking you through the important 'user-experience' design processes - which are so important in creating great websites and apps.

Let’s start the course by going back to the beginning and focus on preparation.

Preparing well is vital for your project’s success.

Many people who wish to create a brand new site, think of hiring a web developer as a process that is mainly won or lost by the developer. However, if you want the project to be successful, that is far from the truth. It requires plenty of preparation and acumen from the side of the small business too!

The work you’ll be doing on this course will serve to inform everyone involved in your website project on:

  • What your business is about

  • What your customers are like

  • What the business goals are

  • What the customer goals are

Without this information, it’s unlikely that your new website will produce the results you're after.

Business Goals

You’ve probably encountered SMART goals before (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Timely).

Business goals are created to drive the business in a specific direction, and to help the whole team make decisions. The truth is that even founders can sometimes lose track of the where they’re going, so writing goals down can help.

Your business goals can also instruct the design of your website. For example, perhaps the current payment process on your website is a known pain point for customers, and you want to develop an easier check-out. By improving this, your sales should increase.

The following exercise is to be completed with your website in mind. Think of how the website can help you achieve your business goals.

Activity 1: Website SMART chart

  • To start you off, we have prepared a SMART Chart template, which you can copy and fill in. You can also find it in this lecture's resources.

  • Fill in around ten rows

  • If you have more than ten, you may need to prioritise… Rome wasn’t built in a day!


There’s no shortcut to online success, and you’re on the right path working through this course, so well done! 

In the next lecture we’ll focus on customer segments.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please drop me a line. I will respond personally to every message.

Catch you later!

Elite Avner Torbit

Founder of Digital Heart


P.S. big shout to our inspired and inspirational content marketer John Whiting @JohnWhiting92, without whom this course would not have materialised

Preview 02:11
List your main business goals, and how you think your website/app can help achieve them.
Business Goals - SMART chart
3 questions

Resources for this section.

Business Goals - resources
+ Customer segments & personas
4 lectures 11:38

Welcome back.

We started off with the important task of identifying your business goals, the first step on your way to a new website. We hope you managed to make progress with this and if you need clarification on anything, please feel free to message me.

The tasks we will be guiding you through today are:

  • Brainstorming customer segments

  • Identifying your top 5 segments

Let's get started.

Who are your customers?

You may think you already know the answer to this question, but how much do you really know about your customers?

For example, do you know your average customers’

  • Age

  • Job, income

  • Hobbies

  • Marital status, age of children

  • Things they aspire to do

  • Things that make them angry

  • How well they use computers/mobile

  • Which social media platforms they usually use

It’s good to get specific because your understanding of your audience is going to impact your new website from the copy you write and information you include, to promotions, choice of images, colours and functionality. If you are struggling with this, it would be good to invest some time into conducting market research. Using surveys and talking to people will help you gain insights into who your audience are and what they are like.

To start you off, we’ve prepared a template for you to fill in (don’t forget to delete our examples), in the resources area.

Activity 1: Brainstorm Customer Segments

  • List at least 5 existing customer segments

  • List at least 5 potential customer segments

Note: Be specific, e.g., instead of saying ‘women’, say: ‘First-time mothers living in Richmond.’

Note: Table is in the resources section

Activity 2: Up to 5 top customer segments

  • List your top 5 segments. Your new website will cater for these people. It can be a combination of existing and potential segments.

How to identify the top 5?

Look for those that:

  1. have the highest number of people

  2. have the highest need for your service

  3. have the ability to pay for it

  4. are relatively easy for you to access

Great, remember these 5 segments, and tomorrow we’ll breathe some life into them!


It might take a few hours to complete, and that’s ok. It’s better to take more time than to rush it and end up with the wrong customer segment - that equals people will not buy into what you offer!

Being super-clear about your top customer segments is one of the main building blocks of your web brief, and the key to user-experience design.

See you next time,

Elite Avner Torbit,

Founder of Digital Heart
Preview 06:43
A tried and tested UX method to identify the most important customers you'll be designing your website/app for.
Customer Segments
1 question

A tried and tested UX method to identify the most important customers you'll be designing your website/app for.

Customer Segments - Resources

Did you manage to complete yesterday’s work?

Today’s task depends on yesterday’s outcome. We’re about to figure out who your customers are on a deeper level. This task works well as a team effort, so assemble a few people in your favourite meeting room, download the chart we’ve provided below and work through the questions together.

Good luck and if you need any help, please leave a comment

Preview 04:37
Day 3: Who are your customers, really? - why and how
+ Day 4-6: Branding
6 lectures 16:24

Welcome back.

We’re moving on to developing your online brand story. We’ll build it over the next couple of days, starting with a few simple, fun tasks.

This is another team exercise and a chance for everyone to reflect on how the company operates, where it excels and where improvements could be made.

Keep in mind during this task:

There are no wrong answers!

Download the task documents for the instructions and templates to fill in.

Preview 03:35
Day 4: Your Brand (a) - why and how

Welcome back!

We’re at the halfway point of working through your detailed brand analysis. Today is all about brand values. This is an important task and you can find out the reasons why in the next section. We’re going to be working on two core exercises:

  • Core values exercise

  • Values review

Don’t rush this task - values touch people’s most personal preferences and principles - so listen carefully to yourself and to your team. If you’re wondering how this task relates to creating a website, then be sure to read our suggested post about Lego at the bottom.

Download the task sheets and let's get going!

Day 5: Your Brand (b)
Day 5: Your Brand (b) - why and how

We’re approaching the halfway point in the course and also the end of our section on branding.

Today we have two exercises that should help you clarify what makes your company unique in words everyone understands:

  • Crystallizing your brand story

  • Brand personality scale

Explore and have fun creating a narrative about your company.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the examples below.

Preview 07:46
Day 6: Creating a Brand Story - why and how
+ Day 7: Competitor Research - what 'good' / 'bad' looks like
2 lectures 05:30

We hope you have been enjoying the course so far! Have you managed to complete all of your homework? ;)

By now you have (hopefully) nailed down your business goals, what your different audience groups are like (Personas), your company values and brand story.

Today we’re going to focus on (one of my favourites!) competitor research. This is an extremely important section that helps you to understand:

  1. What your competitors are doing with their websites

  2. How to position your company and website in a different and more attractive way than your competitors

  3. Basically how to out-do them...

Take a look at the downloadable tasks and start investigating!

Day 7: Competitor Research
Day 7: Competitor Research - why and how
+ Day 8: High Level Requirements
2 lectures 06:27

Welcome back.

It’s finally time to list your high-level websites requirements. You knew this would come sooner or later…!

It’s a big one, and will take some time to do - it’s perfectly normal to stretch this task over several hours.

To list your requirements, we’re going to consider all the exercises you’ve already completed and focus on 3 tasks:

  • From personas to user goals

  • User-needs-based requirement list

  • Business-needs-based requirement list

Let’s get started...

Day 8: High Level Requirements
Day 8: High Level Requirements - why and how
+ Day 9-11: Content
7 lectures 13:25

Oh, you’ve come a long way!

You’ve taken huge strides towards creating your design brief, so well done.

Today we're going to look at the content your new website should contain. You’ll be analysing your current website (if you have one), and filling in a content-plan spreadsheet (obviously, skip this if you haven't got a website at all yet).

We’re edging closer to having a completed design brief, so be sure to stick to the tasks. It takes time to complete but every minute spent at the beginning will save you time and money in the long run.

Day 9: Content Audit
Day 9: Content Audit - why and how

After completing the behemoth task yesterday of compiling all your web pages into a spreadsheet, today’s activity should seem much more relaxing and fun. Your homework for today involves interviewing your colleagues, friends and family.

This task is important because you’ll receive honest feedback from real people about your site. Sometimes it is tough to hear criticism even if it is constructive, but keep in mind all of this data is necessary to take your website to the next level.

Use the Content Audit spreadsheet for this task (there are 3 tabs in the sheet).

Day 10: Content Brainstorm
Day 10: Content Brainstorm - why and how

One aspect many small businesses overlook is the amount of new content needed when creating a new website. Text for the ‘About’ page, taglines, contact details, information about products/services, marketing messages - these are all required. The designer isn’t supposed to create this content; you are. It’s necessary to include the creation of this content in the project timeline as delays may hold up the designer and the launch of your website.

Luckily for you, you’re well ahead of the game and can plan ahead by completing this activity.

Use the spreadsheet for day 9, 10, and 11 (there's a tab for each activity in this sheet).

Day 11: Content Plan
Day 11: Content Plan - why and how

Today's session is centered on the creation of your site’s structure. The tasks are group activities that invite everyone to think how individual site pages should be linked to each other.

The two exercises today are:

  • Card Sorting

  • Sitemap drawing

Have a go and email or tweet at us if you need any help. (@Elite_Avner)

Day 12: Card sorting and Sitemap
+ Day 12-14: Menus, wireframes and the final brief document
5 lectures 09:04
Day 12: Card sorting and Sitemap - why and how

We’re nearly at the end, we’re so glad to see you’re getting through the course and hope you’re finding it useful. You should know a lot about what your website should contain by now, and how to structure it. Today we are going to create a sketch of a web page called a wireframe.

*This is an optional task - it needs to be done, but if you’re finding it difficult you could leave it for your designer/developer to do it, just don’t forget to ask. Skipping this step means risking a website that perhaps looks nice but doesn’t deliver the results you’re after.

In any case, let’s have a go at wireframing.

Day 13: Wireframes
Day 13: Wireframes - why and how

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final day of the course! Take a moment to congratulate yourself for all the hard work and effort you’ve put into this. You’re so close to finishing. All that is left is to compile all of your research into a slide deck.

The Slide Deck

A slide deck is a powerpoint presentation containing the important pieces of data/research you have collected over the last two weeks. You’re putting it into a format that any developer or design agency will clearly understand.

When presenting the slide deck to your developer/or agency, you’ll pair it with the spreadsheets you’ve made. They’ll be referenced in the design brief for the developer to refer to. The information on the spreadsheets is too much to go into the design brief; that’s why they will be supporting documents.

Day 14: The Brief
Day 14: The Brief - why and how