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Article: How Can You Write An Effective Design Brief?

How Can You Write An Effective Design Brief?

To reduce miscommunications, clients need to write a design brief that states every little requirement.
But how can you make an effective one? Let's find out!

Have you considered how to make a design that is a perfect depiction of what you have in mind? Often time people get lost and forget for whatever reasons, meaning, and the idea behind the design during the process. To avoid any mistakes, you can create a perfect model by using a design brief and write every little grounding information. 

Whether you are a new or professional individual in the design realm, you can write a brief that helps stir your passion and work. It will eventually prevent you from getting distracted and lost. But is it enough to only make brief information? Unfortunately, it is not. You need to write an effective design brief to ensure everything is going well. 


About Design Brief

Before understanding or learning about how to write a brief, you will need to understand the meaning. Just as the name says, you can say that the item is something that works more than just a simple note. It is part of the project that will provide the designer every needed information in a way it can help exceed the expectation. 

Who is the one that has to write it? In general, the content is written by the client or the company. It is because the details are given to help the designer to do a perfect project. Thus, the design brief is mostly about the project or expectation. However, the designer also has a role in providing a brief template. 

It eventually helps the client and the designer write out every single detail needed for the project. It also benefits in case the client does not come to you with an effective design brief. Thus, they can write according to your data. There are a lot of templates ready for such a brief on the internet. You, as a designer, can simply print it out and let the client write down every detail. 

In design, most of the brief will focus on the outcome. It can tell every detail, including how it should look, the dimension, the benchmark, expectation, and all. It also relates to the business objective, which can affect the sense of design altogether. However, the brief should not talk about aesthetics since it is the responsibility of the designer. 

At some point, clients or companies also write a brief to tell and focus on what to achieve. It was mostly done before the project started. Thus, both parties can discuss the design project. On the designer side, a good brief will give every necessary detail that meets their needs. That is why you or the client need to write an effective one. But how to do it? 


Considerations To Write An Effective Design Brief 

Just like much other planning for design projects, you got a range of questions or grounding to answers. It is especially true if you are working for a corporate design project such as logo, pattern, or identity. You will need to write a design instruction that envelops every little detail about the company. Thus, you can portray it on the project result. 

1. About the Business 

One and the most important part of the summary is the overview. In this part, make sure you write a brief that explains some of the grounding information regarding the company and the client. From the client's perspective, this is a part where you need to introduce who you are in detail and as needed as possible. You can assume that the designer knows nothing about you. 

To make it easier to implement in the design, make sure you avoid any jargon. Write clear and concise details that can answer two basic questions. The questions are, what is your company history, and what do you do? If you can answer these queries, it eventually helps you write a more effective design brief. 

But how about the designer? If you are striving to be a professional designer, you cannot underestimate this part. You can either ask or do an interview with the client and write a design brief as much as you need. You can also use templates to find all of the needed information and give it to your client. So, they will write down every detail needed. 

For this section, you can either create comprehensive details or brief information, such as a snippet about the brand's identity and values, the unique selling point, and the key differentiators, mostly enough for the design ideas. However, you need to write it as clear as possible to make everyone involved understand. 


2. Cover The Scope of Works

Most clients don't know what you are capable of. That is why the brief is not only about the client, but it also needs to cover the designer's side. In this case, you have to write some of the details regarding what you are going to work for them. You can simply write down if you are creating a new logo, web design, or graphic design for others. 

Why should you write down the scope? The idea is that you are working with more than one person. The details about the project will help everyone on the same page, including your team or the client. An effective design brief also prevents any misunderstanding, wasted effort, and uncertainty for the entire project.  


3. The Target Market

Most people go with the goal, but you can also consider the importance of telling the target market. In this case, a business should have a similar brief when starting its journey. As a designer, you will need to make sure you know and nail the details regarding the target market. Thus, you can envision the overall design looks from the information. 

But what should you write in this detail? In the eyes of clients, some of the details that they need to include the demographics and psychographic. It will explain the details about the design brief, such as the age range, gender, caste, income, views, attitude, lifestyle, geography, employment, and other details that the company wants to reach. 

From the designer's point of view, you can start to write down some information about the demographic information. It eventually helps you draft a persona about the target audience. Persona is mostly built from the information in the brief that tells about the demographic to the relevant smaller details. 

Some questions might help you write or arrange an effective design brief. Some of them are: Who is the customer? What are they currently using? How do they use it? What is your product ability? How can you provide a solution? What are they looking for? And what makes them want to purchase the product? Write all of the answers, and you will get more data.  


4. Know The Competition

Another thing that either the designer or the client needs to write is the competition. Make sure you got a design brief that helps people understand the competitive landscape. One of the data that you can gather from this section is brand identity. You can ask the client to write what they are confident about and how they fight the competition. 

It is also helpful to write some of the unique and new points from the product. The knowledge from that data can force you to get a specific angle about the design project. Thus, the result will resemble the client's brand identity to its best. The design brief also needs to cover some of the facts about how similar the product is to others. So you can make something different. 


5. The Goal  

After all of the information, you can write down the company goal. In this part, both the client and designer need to lay out some important details about what the company wants to achieve in the future. Surprisingly, this information can shape up the project and how it will go. In many cases, the goal for the product also turns into a design guideline. 

To make an effective brief, you need to underline some of the vital answers. The client needs to write about the overall goal of the new project. It can either make a logo design that targets a younger audience or follow the shifting trend. Some other information also includes what you are trying to communicate and why you do so. e

Some information that you need in brief also comprises how you differ from the competitors. Are you trying to sell more or get awareness? And do you want to make new or updated promotional material? Designers can help write this kind of detail by providing questioners. It will help clients to write a more detailed and design brief. 


6. The Specification 

There is also information about the project specification that you need in the design information. At some point, the detail will comprise data about the design project. It includes the size, the form, and other information. It is easier to write an effective brief with the help of a template. Designers can change and add some needed information about the specification. 

This kind of effective design brief will help the designer to do the correct project. Assuming that many clients do not know about design information or specification, then you as the designer will be in charge. Ask every detail before you progress the project. Write down all the information in brief and help the client to understand if they are clueless. 


7. The Copy And Pictures 

To make the brief even more effective, clients need to give some copy, pictures, and references. The old promotional material can also assist the designer in doing the project. How important are the materials? In many cases, clients will find that the designer will ask the elements before doing the project to add more references. 

As a designer, you have the right to ask about the materials. However, there are chances that your clients are clueless about this information. If so, you can include the detail in the design brief and give information about the material. Tell them to look, get, or recommend a professional copywriter or photographer. It will help you shape the project. 

In this case, the key point of an effective design brief is to ask what kind of copy that will be included in the design? At some point, you will need to adjust the design idea with the already available material. It is also important to know and write what kind of photographs, images, or diagrams need in the project. And lastly, ask about who will provide all of them? 


8. Benchmark 

To avoid misconceptions in the project, you will need the benchmark detail in brief. The idea is that a benchmark will set the level of expectation of the project. It is one of the details that the client needs to write and include in the brief. How they tell the benchmark can differ from one to another. They can provide a related link or attaching a file or photograph. 

The idea of giving a benchmark is to shape and make a commitment. Since the design brief already tells the benchmark, the designer can consider the best option or idea for the project. It can be anything, as long as it is a relevant and practical example for the project. The client even has the right to write down benchmarks based on the main competition. 

It is not only about the benchmark of what to do, but the client also needs to include things not to do. It will make an effective design brief that every designer needs. All of the design details or information will suffice. Clients can write the styles, the font, or the model they hope the designer will not make. It will eventually help designers to avoid disappointment.

The designer also has a primary role in providing some questions regarding these details. You as a designer can write the details from direct interviews, discussions, forms, or questionnaires. Assume that your client might forget about these details. Thus, you are in charge of recording the benchmark information. 


9. Time And Deadline 

Time and deadline will be another detail needed for the project. Thus, make sure you get the client to write the complete information regarding the time scale and deadline. From the customer's point of view, one should include every little schedule of the project. You can set or write a realistic detail with the expected completion of the work. 

To make it even more effective, you have to take into account all of the various project stages. You can write down when to do a consultation, concept development, production, and delivery. If the client is unsure about the details, ask the designer to help fill this detail. Thus, you can make a more accurate and effective design brief. 

Another point that both designer and client need to know is rushing a design job. The idea of rushing a job will not help everyone, and it is bound to make more mistakes. It also jumps through every design step written in briefs, such as review and consultation. If a rush job is unavoidable, both client and the designer need to be honest and upfront about it.  


10. Budget 

While it is not heavily affecting the progress, you need to write the budget details in the design brief. The client, in particular, has to explain every detail about the budget so it will not disappoint both parties. How so? The designer will adjust the number of jobs according to the budget details. They will follow the budget and avoid wasting time or resources. 

The client needs to write the budget upfront to tell the designer about the project's merit. The thing is, you might have to work with more than one project. If the designer knows the budget, they can prioritize or know the value of the project. It also helps make sure if the client's job is worth their time or not. 


11. Sum It All 

As you got all of the information, this is the time to make an executive summary. It may feel unimportant, but you can bump up the effectiveness of the design brief by summing it all. Outline all of the essential information through the brief and write a cliff-notes version of it. The summary is also a great way to allow the client to review the brief. 

It will eventually be the last part of finalizing the effective design brief. Your client might want to write or change some of the details in the guide before you start the project. It also helps press the client to know that the brief will be the primary guideline. As you seal the deal and get approval, you are ready to start working on the project. 


Final Words

Writing a effective design brief is something that every designer and client should do. Other than it helps tell many details, it also turns into grounding ideas for the project. In this case, there are many considerations or details to fill. It includes some necessary information such as the goal, the market, the benchmark, the specification, and many more. 

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