The Importance or Having a Design Brief
You need a design brief and you need a design brief, we all need a design brief!
What is a Design Brief?
A design brief is a list of important information about the person, business, or organization that the design work is for. A design brief is very important for the designer or design team because it gives them a well-rounded picture of who or what the work will be for. You can’t solve a problem until I you know what context it’s in, so gathering this information before any design work begins will help lay the foundation for outstanding solutions.
Describe Your Business
The first question is identifying what the business does and why. I created a hypothetical “cafe with a twist” called The Grind. I described The Grind is a cafe that serves popular food and drinks you can find at a coffee house and offers free workspaces for artists. I included a mission statement, described the food and drinks offered, and explained how customers can use the workspace.
What Makes You Business Unique?
Some business owners can answer this question right away, while some haven’t ever thought of it before. This question can benefit the designer and the client equally. This question identifies what sets the business apart from similar businesses and explains why the customer should bring their business here above other options.
What Is the Personality of the Business?
Have the client list at least five descriptors of what tone and feeling the business aims to evoke from their customers. If it’s an established business, they may already know what their brand is.
Who Is Your Audience?
The best thought out solutions will crumble if they aren’t targeting the right audience. Identifying the types of people who use their product or service will help business owners avoid wasting resources on campaigns that don’t reach the people that are going to use their product.
What Does Your Business Value?
This can be included in the “Why?” of the Describe Your Business portion of the brief, but it can never hurt to drive home what the business considers most important above all else.
What Are the Goals and How Do We Measure Success?
Now that you have a picture of the business, you can discuss what design needs the client has. Does the client need a whole branding package or just a website refresh? And once all of the design work is in the hands of the customer, what are specific goals we can set to measure whether the design is successful? Getting on the same page with your client helps to prevent them from having incorrect expectations from you and your work.
You can see how I answered these questions in the design brief I created for The Grind. If you are a client, begin thinking about these questions when you consider contacting a designer to help you.