If you were going to build a house, you wouldn't go to a construction company and demand, "Build me a house, and tell me what that's going to cost," would you? Of course not! You would first have to tell the construction company what style of building you want, how much you were willing to spend, where are you going to put the building, how big your plot is, how you envision expansion in the future, and so on. You would need to start with a blueprint before any building begins.
Approaching a design & development project is not that far from this analogy.
An RFP (Request for Proposal) is a document commonly written by a company seeking quotes from potential vendors on a project. As with any complex project, a design project requires clear communication between the client and designer in order for the client to receive accurate estimate.
This article outlines the typical components of an RFP for a design project. Although more information can be added to the document, the components below represent a basic set of information that needs to be provided to the designer for a design quote.
The following components should be included in an RFP:
- Project Scope »
Target Audience »
- A brief background of your company.
- A brief description of this project.
- Budget - ideally, you will already have a budget set aside for the project. It's helpful to include it in your RFP so that designer can tailor their solutions they propose to match your budget needs. Also, it will help save you the pain of exchanging a lot of ideas with designer who are out of your price range.
- Time frame - include any project deadlines you may have. Be realistic with a time frame; for example, an average brochure-ware site can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks. However, depending on the project and its complexity, it's good to know ahead of time how flexible you are willing to be with the project's completion date.
Design requirements »
- To develop a graphic/website that meets your business goals, you will need to specify who your target audience will be.
Project Management »
- Are there color palette and font treatment requirements or preferences, if any?
- Do you have corporate identity guidelines from your company that must be followed?
- How should the graphic "feel"? Include some adjectives to describe what your business graphic/website should communicate.
- Examples of graphic/sites you liked/disliked, and why.
- Who will be the main point of contact on your staff?
- Are there any third parties (subcontractors, etc.) that will also be involved in the project?
As you can see, it takes forethought to put a design project together. Writing an RFP is a good exercise for anyone thinking about a Business Graphic Design, Website Design or Redesign, as it requires you to focus on your goals, and to distill your thoughts into a clear direction of how to achieve those goals.
What if I don't have the resources/time/energy to write this myself?
Even if you can compile a simple list of requirements following the bulleted items above as best as you can, it's still better than not preparing anything at all. In the past, we have received quote requests that don't give us any more information beyond "can you tell me what it costs to build 10 pages, 20 pages website? " Web developers cannot begin to guess what might be involved in that project. For example, 10 pages might involve all static HTML pages, or there may be something interactive that requires programming on all of them. Keeping the developer in the dark is not a good use of their time or yours. Instead, present them with as much information as you can on your project in advance, so that they may spend time working to meet your needs rather than guessing what those needs may be.
If you have a vision of your design and goals but are not as sure on how to articulate it, we will often work with you to develop your RFP, either as part of the project, or as a separate work-for-hire before a formal contract is signed.
A design or redesign project will surely be successful if you start with a well thought-out plan and both client and designer understand what is required of each side to make the project progress smoothly.
Send us your project RFP and book a free initial consultation now