Design brief is a vital document related to project planning that specifies in detail timeframe of the project, its goals and what is needed to complete it. An effective design brief is one of the most critical factors in ensuring the success of that project.
Some firms rely on it to a great extent as it is considered an integral step in project coordination. Creating the design brief is a strategic approach that allows the user to identify and also avoid any disruptions early on the project.
What is Design Brief?
The design brief is developed by a team or an individual after consulting the client. The management document outlines the scope of the project along with its budget and timing. It irons out any roadblocks so that the development process, later on, becomes smooth without any unnecessary hassles. It is a powerful tool that proves itself as an effective guide from the onset to the endgame of the overall workflow.
A designing brief is considered a valuable document that evaluates the effectiveness of the design during its creation process so that the team or the designer can keep the project on budget and on track. It is used in numerous fields like industrial designing, interior designing, and architecture.
Ensure that the design brief you are creating has the clients input also. Collaborate with him at the onset to clarify all the goals and objectives so that both of you are on the same page. This move will make him jointly accountable in the design brief and he will not be able to blame you for any error.
Importance of Design Brief
A design brief is important because you are likely to store all the ideas in your head and the design brief actually help you put the ideas on paper. Whenever you are involved in a project, it is likely that you have an overflow of ideas and a design brief helps you maintain the designing part of the project
Besides being useful for your own ideas, a design brief is also useful for the agency when you are outsourcing the work to an agency. A brief on the type of design required can help the agency.
- It imparts more knowledge of the industry and what kinds of designs will work in said industry
- A statement of the vision of the company which can help the design agency
- More clarity on the design job ultimately results in a good design.
- Put the information on paper instead of keeping it in your mind
Where is a Design Brief commonly used?
A design brief is used in various roles and various industries. However, the following industries use such briefs frequently
- E-commerce – For E-commerce design
- Brand and rebranding – A brief is needed by the agency for its Branding Projects
- Website design – Wireframing and customer funnel design briefs can be useful in website projects
- Architecture – Naturally, you cannot have a beautiful building if your design is not beautiful
- Interior Design – This puts ideas on the drawing board.
- Fashion design – You wanna look chic! So you better design a chic outfit!
- Strategy – Mindmaps are a kind of design used in Strategy and are a brief of the strategy which you are going to achieve.
Advantages of using a design brief
The advantages of using a design brief in your project are as follows-
- The design brief acts as a stepping stone that offers the background and insight to the designer and his team for creating an effective visual design
- This document offers detailed information about the expectation of the client so that ultimately you can give your best
- The design brief helps to maintain the time schedule and budget on track
- It keeps the individual contributors on track
- The initial interaction and collaboration create a bonding between the designer and the client. There is a sense of involvement in the process because the client is assured that the designer has understood him via the discussions and interactions.
- It is of utmost benefit to the designer because it offers him the related specifications upfront.
How to write an effective design brief?
The layout of a design brief can be done in several shapes and sizes. It mainly depends on the industry and the type of project you are handling. The core section includes the following elements
1. Company or Business profile
Ensure an overview of the business of your client in the design brief. It will help your team members to familiarize with the client and his brand. This is also an important step where you are working in a company that has multiple owners and you need to mention the client name to acknowledge who has the final approval in the project.
The important points that must be mentioned in this segment are
- Details of the company for instance product lines, industry, and name
- List of its competitors
- List of points of contact and stakeholders
- Brand messaging, value, mission, vision and differentiator
2. Overview of the project
A detailed description of the project should be offered in the design brief. Include background and context and that to in detail so that the overview in your document can easily relay about the scale and scope of the project.
Remember to ask viable questions to your client like what and why is he doing it. Dig deep to meet the needs of your client and find alternative solutions.
3. Goals and objectives
It is important to offer measurable outcomes to the client hence highlight the purpose and methods of your goals and objectives. Doing so upfront keeps you in a better position to prove your worth.
The important points that must be mentioned in this segment are
- Increase the traffic to the website of the client
- Increase daily revenues from the site
- Increase engagement with online content
4. Target audience
Ask your clients about their target audience at the onset so that you can make sure about the customers you want to reach. Once your client describes his ideal customer it becomes easy to create something appealing for them.
5. Project scope
Every client is different and so is his demand. Some are interested in customized solutions and some want something unique and out of this world. It is important to know about the goal and objectives so that you can understand its scope and offer viable solutions.
Ask about small and intricate information to know about it in detail.
6. Available materials
Sometimes clients already have some materials that you can use to make the design brief much better and useful for instance pictures of products, brochure or logo. Look and analyze their current promotional materials to gain an insight into their taste.
Remember these add-ons are necessary to enhance a design brief.
7. Budget and schedule
Budget and time limit are as important as a project hence deal with it upfront so that you can make your designs accordingly. When you have a clear understanding of these twp important elements you can find a balance to manage both your expectations.
Suppose you do not have the knowledge about the budget and spend an inordinate amount? What happens when the client refuses to pay it. An explicit budget gives you the necessary leeway to make changes that are important for the brief without hurting your own pockets.
The time schedule keeps you on toes so that you can complete everything on or before time to enhance your reputation in the market.
8. Overall style
Get a sense of overall style from your client, gather the necessary data and now try to infuse your own thinking with the needs and requirements of the client. Once you give free rein to your creativity you will be able to do justice to your work.
- The design brief helps you to understand the likes and dislikes of your client so that you can create the design accordingly.
- The design brief is valuable even after completing the relevant project as this comprehensive brief can become a medium for future pitches
Conclusion on Why Designers need a brief of the design
As you can see from the article, a design brief is very useful to the design team and it can help them take crucial decisions during the designing or redesigning stage. If you have any questions on this concept, please use the comment form below.