Design Briefs Provide Focus

How do we strive to ensure the success of a design project?

We want our clients to focus in on what they want and how they want it. What do clients want?

Design Briefs can hold the answer.

  • They set up clear business objectives.
  • They help define expected outcomes of the intended project.

The designers role?

The Design Brief is not meant to achieve the aesthetics of design but to synthesize the information conveyed and give the opportunity to ask questions for clarification.

Put on your listening ears!

Asking questions and allowing the client to speak about their company and their perceptions results in valuable information gathering. Listen carefully.

Questions that can lead to discussion build a valuable Design Brief.

> Learn about <the company>, how it perceives itself and its competition

Tell us about <the company> brand.

Give us five words that best describe your company.

Tell us about your competition.

Tell us what makes <the company> different? What is the value-added?

Tell us briefly (define briefly) why your customers purchase your product/service.

Tell us why your customers should purchase your product/service.

> Define your target market

Please identify and group your target market(s)?

> Marketing

What have you done that works and why?

What have you done that did not work and why?

> Set up expectations

What is your expected outcome for this project?

> Set up parameters & possible limitations

Develop some questions relevant to the current project such as:

Do you want to sell more products/services or generate awareness?

Is there available photography or are we providing images?

Who is providing the copy?

Depending on the project, how is this being used?

> Set up critical timelines

One of the most important steps in setting up expectations is to define when the project is needed.

> Samples

It can be helpful for the client to provide the designer as much information as possible and possibly share examples that convey their likes and dislikes. By reviewing these the designer can usually discern commonalities that will make a difference.

Using the Design Brief

Finally, we find it most productive if we are able to meet or conference with the client after they have received the brief and have had a chance to work through their thoughts. For some, this process will be difficult and will work better with dialog, so it depends on who the key players are as to how you approach it. Some clients will have this down requiring very little dialog, but the opportunity to probe a bit deeper can prove effective in gaining valuable insights.

If developed well, the Design Brief will allow everyone to have a clear understanding of the project and its goal. Once written up, share the Design Brief with the client so they can read through it and add/dispute any key points.

The Design Brief process tells the client, we hear you, we understand you and we want you to be successful. And who doesn’t want that?


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