[thelist] How do I build a proposal for a website?

Andy Budd andy at message.uk.com
Thu Aug 7 09:08:29 CDT 2003

Janet Green wrote:

>> How do I create a proposal for such a website? Does anyone have a 
>> sample, advice, ideas as to how I should proceed?<<<
> - A couple color prints of a proposed design scheme (meaning, mock up 
> the main page and one or two - at most - interior pages) so they can 
> see your creative concept without you having to build the entire site 
> just to get the job. Be sure to include something here that references 
> the data sheets so you can show how they will be incorporated into the 
> site. You can mount these to some sort of presentation-weight 
> cardboard cut to about 10x13 if you want them to look a little more 
> impressive. Be sure to mark these discreetly as "copyright 2003 Sylvia 
> Braunstein. All rights reserved."

I'd say everything you said was spot on. However I would be very 
careful about showing design concepts. Let them know that you 
understand the job. Provide them with enough background to show that 
you can do the job, but resist the urge to start designing.

Visual design should start some way down the line after you've had 
chance to get to know the client, their business, their users and their 
competition more. It's not something that should be done right at the 
start of a project, before you've even been awarded the job.

The problem is people all have strong opinions about design. If you 
show somebody a bunch of designs they will probably pick the one that 
they personally like. However it's not about designing something for 
the MD, it's about designing the site to achieve the business 
objectives set and the goals of the user.

Basically what you'll end up doing is offering you're work for free. If 
they insist of seeing design concepts, ask to be paid for you're time. 
If they refuse you're probably best not dealing with them as they 
obviously don't value your time, skills and craft..

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