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The 5-Step Recipe for Writing a Perfect Design Brief

October 1, 2021

In order to create a design in architecture, engineering, or web-designing, creating a brief design is almost always necessary. Before finalizing the project, a specific design will go through many changes. This is why a perfect design brief includes the basic outlines of the project. Clients require seeing the brief for various reasons. Once they get a better idea of what a designer can achieve, plenty of new ideas can arise. Besides, the overall design project can take months to finalize, which is why it’s important to master the initial brief. Take a look at how you can make a perfect design brief in 5 simple steps.

What is the purpose of a design brief?

There are plenty of factors that go into planning a perfect design brief. The overall scope of the project, different timelines, and audience research are just some factors that an experienced designer must include. Depending on the size of the project, a designer will have to follow the directions and continue redefining the brief.

When it comes to creating a design brief, most clients expect efficient and flexible services. Some of them look for a team of a few designers who work well together. Others prefer hiring a freelancer that will offer an efficient and affordable solution. One of the hardest aspects of creating any sort of design is understanding what the client is looking for. The person in charge of the design needs to consider the client’s long-term goals and stay flexible until the project is finalized. No matter which kind of design you’re working with, creating a good brief will be the biggest step in the process. So, let’s focus on the most important aspects of creating a perfect design brief.

Step one – create a plan for your design

In order to create a brief that can meet a client's needs, it’s important to have a plan and think ahead. One of the first things to consider before designing is the overall goal of the client’s brand. For example, a web design will have to include basic information about the brand but also be appealing to the targeted audience. Here are some of the basic steps you should start with when creating a perfect design brief:

  • Long-term goals of your client. Depending on the industry you are designing for, your client’s goals could be very different. A perfect design brief has to include both the short-term and long-term goals of the client. This process will also require researching the market, audience, and competitors.
  • The overall scope of the design project. Whether you are working as an individual or have a team of designers, you will have to assess the size of the project.
  • Important facts about the targeted audience and competitors. Doing the research will be the biggest part of creating a perfect design brief. Your client’s demands could vary during the timeline of the project, but you will have to focus on the main goal when creating the brief.
  • Timeline of the project. For creating a good design, some people need weeks or even months to do the job well. The timeline of your project will depend on many factors, but mostly on your client’s needs. In order to create a good brief, you will have to make a plan for every step of the designing process.
  • The overall budget for the project. Bigger projects will require bigger budgets, but also more time to finalize. Once you know what you are working with, you will have an easier time explaining to your client what they can expect.

Creating a perfect design brief - start with basics

As the first step, your design brief should include all important information about your client’s business. Since this part of the project will be an overview of the design, you should start with planning the basics. Every brand requires different features in a design, which is why you should focus on your client’s needs. Keep in mind that a perfect design brief is the one that gives clients a long-term vision. If you sell the brief, you will gain your client’s trust and get clear instructions for continuing the work.

Get to know your target audience

Creating a design usually has one simple purpose – to catch the eye of the audience. During the first phase of creating a perfect design brief, you will have to know what your audience is looking for. If you are working alongside an experienced marketing team, your goals and ideas will have to synchronize. Here are some basic questions you should answer when researching the audience:

  • Who will look at your design?
  • What aspects of the design are you trying to cover?
  •  How will your design help in selling the product (or service)?
  • Will you be able to adapt your design for different target groups?
  • Which key points will determine your design’s success?

Once you answer these questions, you should be able to understand your audience better. For most designers, a perfect design brief is a key to gaining reputable clients. For others, a good brief is a path to getting interesting projects and long-term contracts. This is why a good designer will have to think ahead and understand the audience they’re designing for.

Research the competitors

Everyone knows that a design brief is just a starting point in creating the final design project. Before you start, you will have to do the research and see what competitors have to offer. Depending on the industry you’re in, this research could determine the overall success of the project. In any business, people are always competing over who gets the bigger audience. For some industries, your design can be the key to selling the product or service. In order to create a perfect design brief, you should talk to your client openly. Having the right information and understanding your client’s needs is the best way to create a successful design brief.

Define short-term and long-term goals

When hiring designers, most companies are striving for a profit. Although this is implied, it’s not always easy to determine what are the client’s goals. The fact is, your design brief will only be a starting point to making a bigger project. This is why you will have to consider both the short-term and long-term goals of your client. In the short run, some companies are looking to attract more audiences and get new leads. Others will request a design to sell a product or a service. In both cases, a perfect design brief you create will determine whether you understand your client’s goals.

In the end, we should mention another one of the most important aspects of every design brief. While creating it, you will have to remain objective and flexible. No matter how demanding your client is, it will be your job to present the project and with all of its potentials. If you stay objective, you will have an easier time explaining the possibilities of the final project. When creating a perfect design brief, try to make it simple and objective. Clients tend to expect more than one’s design can offer, which is why your brief should reflect your client’s long-term goals.

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