The design brief is like a map for a ship. For this reason, it is important to learn how to properly draw this document up so that your team does not have to blush in front of the client and make edits to the finished project. Below you will find everything that is important to know about the design brief, which in turn will facilitate the job of your design team and allow them to get the project done perfectly.
This document is a kind of instruction on a design part of project management. It will allow the entire team to understand the aspects of the project. This document reflects what the customer wants and what the team needs to do to achieve this. Correct presentation of information will help you cope with projects without edits, violations of deadlines, and other misunderstandings. When employees have a clear plan of action, then the risks of mistakes are reduced.
The design brief may vary depending on the type of project and client. However, there are some must-have sections of this document. Of course, it needs to be customized every time you are working with a new customer, but the following elements will help you understand what should be described in the brief for your designers.
The first thing to start with your design brief is to describe all the features of your customer's business. The following points must be included in the business description:
- Information about the company, customer name, industry, and products.
- Distinctive brand characteristics.
- Mission and Values of the company, slogans.
- List of direct competitors.
- A list of contacts of specialists from the company for solving various issues.
Without such a summary, it will not be possible to fulfill the order perfectly. If your company understands the specifics of the industry, then the team will be able to make the design that customers dreamed of.
The design team must clearly understand all the features of the project. In addition to an overview of the project, it is vital to mention here what the customer expects. It is recommended to ask the customer to voice his expectations right at the initial consultation. A sample list of questions that will help outline the project:
- Are you creating something new or redoing an old one.
- What are your potential problems and existing ones?
- Do you already have some ideas related to the design of your project?
- Are there any examples of competing websites or apps you like?
- What are your expectations in general?
The list of questions can be broader, the main thing is that you and your team have a clear understanding of what is needed and what does the customer wants you to do.
Today, the design is an integral part of a marketing effort, so it should unobtrusively guide a lead through the funnel and sell. Each project should have goals that the project developers must achieve. Design plays an equally important role in this. Therefore, your design brief should reflect the main goals:
- Attracting more traffic to the website.
- Improving sales level.
- Increasing brand awareness.
- Engaging consumers with the help of content.
Setting goals and task design like this will help your team get closer to perfect design and satisfy all your client's needs. Subsequently, this will lead to new successful orders from other clients and, of course, subsequent cooperation with the current client.
Perhaps your client already has an analysis of the target audience, and this will only simplify your task. If there is no such analysis, then, in this case, you shouldn’t start the development process without a market and target audience analysis. In this case, you can receive additional payment for services, which is good news. In addition to understanding who the target audience is, you need to find out:
- Demographic data.
- The devices and operating systems preferred by the audience.
- The social status of the audience.
- Individual aspects of UX and UI design that are specific to the solution you are going to create.
PS: If the client already has a website, then it will be possible to find out all this with the help of web analytics programs, for example, Google Analytics.
This block is one of the most important components since it will determine how well the designers will complete the task and how satisfied the client will be. If your design brief contains all the important points regarding the design and the wishes of the client, then the designers will have a clear framework to meet customer’s expectations.
Of course, these special requirements are always individual, but there is also a general skeleton that should be included in this block:
- File sizes and formats.
- Copies of all documents.
- Graphic sources.
- Color palette.
- Brand voice.
- All the individual wishes of the customer.
Important note! Remember that communication with the client should not be stopped after your design brief is 100% ready. Sometimes (very often, in practice) the client's preferences change, and the designers will have to start some parts from scratch. To avoid this, divide all work with design into blocks and provide a report to the client and ask if you need to change anything.
When communicating with a client before starting work on a project, it is important to discuss budgeting issues. We are talking not only about the total amount but also about the prices of individual blocks for each stage. For example, it is important to discuss funding for copywriting, market research, design, and testing. This is vital for optimal project work and to avoid confusion with the client in the future.
What is more, you are always free to suggest your customers better ideas regarding budgeting as well. For example, you may offer him to consider outsourcing copywriting services to the Online Writers Rating custom writing service team.
Also, clear budgeting will allow your team to invest their efforts wisely. Surely, you together with your team should provide top-notch design services but still fit the allocated budget. So your design brief should include a specific amount for this type of work.
Setting deadlines and following them is one more indicator of the highly-skilled design team. The whole process of work on the design can be divided into blocks with a deadline for each.
Setting deadlines, don’t forget to take a possible force majeure into account. Add two extra days to each block, if the terms allow, you can allocate more days. Keep in mind that each project may have unexpected bottlenecks, and some of the employees can go on sick leave. Also, the deadline schedule should be commensurate with the capabilities of your designers and team.
In order to reduce the number of mistakes while working on the design, your team needs to have clear tasks. The process of task setting always begins from the brief description of the overall design. If you've never come across a brief design before, now you have a tutorial on how to write a design brief. And of course, do not forget that the ready-made template needs to be customized.
About the author
Frank Hamilton has been working as an editor at essay review service Best Writers Online. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.