Writing a website design proposal can seem foreign to a lot of web designers and developers? Why you ask? Because creating a proposal is not like creating a CSS rollover menu or coding a virtual shopping cart which plugs into an SQL databaseâ€¦and itâ€™s not like customising a Flash object either. Itâ€™s different – primarily because itâ€™s not a web-based technical skill which seems to come naturally to so many developers. Itâ€™s also not something we love doing and itâ€™s not terribly exciting. Moreover, writing proposals can also be tedious, frustrating and very time-consuming. Bottom line â€“ it just ainâ€™t fun!
You may not like it, but your Web Design Business needs it
And here comes the part that you donâ€™t want to hear â€“ creating a proposal is 100% necessary because itâ€™s your best shot at winning the job. Itâ€™s your best shot at engaging the client, impressing them and ultimately getting them to give you the winning bid. A website design proposal is your chance to show the client that you understand their project needs and that youâ€™re capable of delivering a solution that is better defined, estimated, implemented and costed than any your competitors. Actually, in my experience, cost is not that really big a factor for the client â€“ professionalism and quality of service play a much bigger role, for they inadvertently create a perception of trust and trust is without doubt the number # 1 reason who a client decides to do business with. This is why creating website design proposal is imperative and has so much pull with the client â€“ it installs in them confidence that youâ€™re the person for the job.
How to write a Website Design Proposal that sells!
Youâ€™re probably thinking â€œSo how do I write a website design proposal thatâ€™s going to kick-butt like you say?â€. Good question!
It basically comes down to getting the structure right â€“ that is, you need to include all the relevant areas that go into estimating and developing a website. These areas include : project summary, user requirements, project benefits, functional and technical specifications, information architecture, project considerations and assumptions, project phases and last â€“ but not least â€“ project costs. You see, itâ€™s the sum of these parts that go into creating a proposal that gives the client a solid picture of what you can do for them. A proposal can also include additional details such as design mock-ups, flow charts, hosting, maintenance, etc, but these arenâ€™t entirely necessary. The main point is to keep it focused, stick to the basics and to not overwhelm the client with too much information.
Donâ€™t neglect the userâ€™s requirements
I just want quickly touch upon the area of identifying, analysing and clarifying the userâ€™s requirements – otherwise known as requirements analysis â€“ when writing a website design proposal.
Requirements analysis plays a major role in a website design proposal because it helps you and your clients define what it is they want (i.e. the project objectives) and what it is you can provide (i.e. deliverables â€“ detailed in the functional and technical specifications section of your proposal). The deliverables actually constitute the scope of the project. Your estimates, timelines and costs are based on your deliverables. And what are the deliverables based upon?….you guess it â€“ the userâ€™s requirements.