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Getting the design brief right

Getting the design brief right

When reviewing why, it is often down to too little time or information provided at the start of the project, leading to woolly boundaries and expectations.

Vague emails, short social media and telephone messages, while technically moving things on are fraught with disaster. The outcome is potential client and designer frustration upsetting the relationship, likely project outcome and costs.

We appreciate that today’s businesses suffer from time pressure and constant deadlines. However, the more information that can be provided, the smoother and more successful the project outcome can be.

This can be solved with one A4 sheet that documents the key points. – A brief.

Benefits of a brief?

  • It provides clarity to the design project objective
  • It acts as a benchmark for the client and the designer to revert to and check that everything has been covered.
  • A good brief provides vital information to progress the project without constant queries or second-guessing what is meant.
  • It defines deadlines and budget where possible so everyone knows what is achievable.

Key information

To help you cover important information that designers need to know, we have listed the following key headings as an aid:

  • Project name or title
    This gives consistency and avoids ambiguity when you are discussing the project.
  • Introduction
    Any other relevant business information that is relevant or relates to the project?
  • Project requirement
    How has the project been originated, what is its intention?
  • Deadline
    When is it required? Give specific dates especially if they are critical and immovable.
  • Objectives
    What are you looking to achieve as a goal what is the reason for the project?
  • Target audience/s
    Customers/users within your marketplace?
  • Competitors
    Who are they, are they local, International, bigger than you how many?
  • Alignment
    Does the project need to fit visually or content-wise with anything else you have produced?
  • What is required
    Website, Brochure?  You can be specific or leave the brief deliberately open for the de­signers to recommend a solution.
  • Budget
    Be clear what this is. Designers can explain what is achievable and save time and any embarrassment.
  • Contacts
    Primary points of contact for the project.

So, there you go, even if you don’t use all of the headings some will be better than none and will certainly help your next project.

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