How to Write an Effective Design Brief in 9 Easy Steps
Have you ever heard the tale of the sinking library? The basics are this: an architect built a beautiful library, but after a few years, the building started sinking. Upon reviewing their work, the architect realized the issue: they forgot to account for the weight of the books. Whether you’re building a library or a website, most projects have a lot of moving parts. With a lot to keep track of, you might miss something critical. So how can you avoid those mistakes? How can you make sure you don’t forget the “books”? For designers to deliver a successful project, the design brief is essential. In this article, we look at what a design brief is, why you should use one for your design projects, and share a nine-step plan to create an effective brief that helps you deliver a new design to your client. What’s a design brief, and why do you need one? A design brief is a project management document outlining the specifics of a design project. There’s no standard of what to include, but some common points are the design project overview and scope, timelines, target audience information, and budget. There are plenty of reasons to use a design brief, but there are two that we think are most important: efficiency and direction. Showing your client an overview plan of the project means you can confirm everything before the work starts. This saves time and money for both of you. If you work in a design agency, you might be familiar with design briefs and understand that a good one is imperative to doing great work. A design brief serves as the source of truth for your project and guides your team’s overall direction. Having a well-defined brief helps you focus on the right tasks, and lets you and your design team deliver great work. Here’s how to create a design brief in nine easy steps. 1. Start with an overview of the client When preparing your design brief, start things off by laying out key information about the client. In the overview, you can include basic details, like the size and stage of the company, the industry they’re in, etc. From there, you might talk about the brand’s identity and values, key differentiators, and unique selling points. If you have a “point-person” at the company, include their contact information in this section or the contact details for someone else part of the project. The overview is a key section for everyone involved in the project as it provides the required info at a glance. 2. Cover the scope Now that the brief includes an overview of the client, you should lay out exactly what work you or your team are going to do for them, also known as the project scope. Maybe you’re creating a new logo for the company, doing graphic design work for a landing page, or web design for an existing product. You and your client should agree on the scope of the project, and describe that scope in the design brief. Be sure to be as specific as possible in this section. For example, if you’re creating illustrations or photographs for a campaign, describe this in the design brief. If you’re only doing web content but not print, be sure to include those types of details so everyone is on the same page, and there’s no uncertainty or wasted effort. 3. Define the audience Frank Chimero, » Read More
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