Design Process – How to Write a Design Brief

A brief overview

If design is, indeed, a problem solving discipline then great design must start with the designer developing a complete and thorough understanding of the problem to be solved! Insight and enlightenment is best found in the design brief. It’s fair to say that most clients have some understanding of the necessity for a complete and useful design brief. However actually putting one together can be a lot more difficult and time consuming than expected.

What is a design brief?

There is no single right way to format your brief – it’s OK to compose a ‘narrative’ with paragraphed text, although a ‘bullet point’ list will work equally as well. On the whole the format you adopt will reflect the complexity and depth of the information it is designed to convey.

There is only one golden rule – the brief must be ‘written’ and never verbal! Despite common belief a well written, extensive brief will not only save time on production but it will also enhance and focus creativity!

Does every project need one?

Not at all. Many projects could be considered ‘ongoing’ or ‘routine’. Minor changes to existing documents, price list revisions etc, wouldn’t require a full brief as it might take longer to write and process than to actually complete the entire job!

How long should a design brief be?

Again, it depends entirely on the complexity of the project however one should never produce a short, simple brief at the expense of information.

A good brief is as long as it needs to be!

Who is responsible for it?

Writing the brief is entirely down to you – you are the expert at what you do and nobody knows more about your business than you and your colleagues. However we are experts at what we do and so, when it comes to ‘developing’ the brief we believe there should always be a commitment to ‘co-ownership’.

As design experts we see it as our responsibility to highlight any potential design, production or time issues that may arise from the specifics of the brief before the actual work begins.

Essential elements

Having identified what a brief is and why it is necessary, the next point is to ensure that all of the essentials are included. Here is a list of the most important information to be included within the brief:

The project overview and background.

Why we are here and what events have brought us to this point – a change in direction, a need to review the brand, falling sales, increasing sales, a new venture…

Remember, the more information available, the more creative and focused the solution will be.

Category review.

What industry ‘category’ is your business involved in?

On the face of it this may sound like an overly simple question but your company’s activities might fall into more than one category by design or straddle two by default, for example Hotel and Conference Facility or Fast Food and Childrens Entertainment. At this point it would be worth including information about your main competition and how they promote their business.

Try and include as much information as is available on how your current strategies/products/services compare.

Target audience review.

One of the most important and, equally, the least detailed factors of most design briefs is how the target audience is described. For a design team to truly understand who they are aiming to connect with, it’s essential that audiences are described in as much detail as is possible. If nothing else this exercise should provide you with confidence in knowing that you truly understand your target market.

Company profile.

Depending on the size and complexity of your company, compiling this information might take some considerable time and effort on the part of the author. However, please do percevere. This information is invaluable to the design teams overall understanding of what makes you (corporately) tick. Don’t forget that, once you’ve developed this part of the brief you can use it in future documents so never consider it to be more hassle than it is worth.

Business objectives and design strategy.

For a design solution to be truly effective, it must truly answer the brief! This section is probably the most important of the entire brief. It is here that you’ll need to define exactly what the primary aim of the project is and what effect it should have on your business objectives.

Now is the time to expand on the information offered in the ‘overview and background’ section whilst formulating the action plan and strategy for approaching the design process. For all intents and purposes it will become the “contract” under which we will all be working.

Project scope, timeline and budget.

So that everyone concerned understands all of the various aspects of the project, this detail is critical to developing a ‘road map’ to success. Projects will often require different levels of involvement – the ‘routine’ jobs with historically proven scope, time lines and budgets may only vary if a review is required. Other more complex or “phase” structured projects will have ‘deliverables’ for each phase and so must be defined in advance.

With production organised it is then very easy to allot a budget for that particular phase, and so on.

Avoiding scope creep.

The single most compelling reason why it is essential that project scope, timeline and budget are the list of ‘Essentials Elements’ MUST be addressed in advance of production starting is so that we can all steer clear of the dreaded ‘scope creep’.

Unless there is a properly structured schedule that covers the agreed production for the agreed budget, there will always be the potential for the project to, quite literally, ‘creep’ out of its projected time line and aportioned budget.

The Online Kitchen Design Tool That’s Make Everyone a Pro Designer

Online Kitchen Design Tool

Lately has launch a few online kitchen design tools to help you simplify the process of designing your kitchen. It seems that you no longer need to take years to study on how to create and design kitchen via AutoCAD, Revit or hire the expensive chief architect to design your kitchen. Now with online kitchen design tool you can perform your own design as what you seen on TV or magazine at your fingertips.

World’s Most Easy To Use Software

You will find the tools very easy to use to create most realistic online kitchen design tool built into a web page. This is the perfect visualization tool for home owners and even professional, with no tough learning curve no matter on what technical level are you. The tool provide gallery of style and option which will make your task much easier, what else is most satisfying than seeing your design come to life with minimum efforts.

Layout The Design Of Your Kitchen Or Your Entire House

You need to design only your kitchen? Need to design a house? Need to design an 10 stories building? One online kitchen design tool will settle all your needs. Use wizard to create it in ten seconds then drag in doors, windows, carpet, furniture, painting and curtains with any colors and fabrics. Do all this in less than one hour then show your design to your family or client and modify them as many time as you like until you are happy with the design before starting your renovation. I personally do it for fun, no joke its fun just like gaming to building a home and challenge on who will build the nicest home.

Every One Is Pro Designer After Using This Tool

Yes, I’m little biased here. I do like this online kitchen design tool not only when I designing for my client, even when I design my own home as I share with my family about how my dream home looks like and the best is every member of my family use this tool to design their own dream home and start visualize about it. That’s make anybody a pro designer when they use this designer tool.

Separate Mobile Website Design Vs Responsive Web Design

What’s the Best Solution for You?

There’s no getting around it. If you want to be successful online, your online content must be optimized to present well in front of mobile device users. For years now, the vast majority of individuals accessing the Internet via smartphones and other mobile gadgetry have had to settle for mediocre renderings of web designs created for the desktop experience. When these users visit a website via a mobile browser, more often than not, the mobile browser will assume that they’re viewing a website designed for the desktop experience and that the user would like to see all of it, not just the top left corner. The devices therefore set the view port width and force everything into the device’s small display. This forces those users to zoom into areas they would like to see more clearly.

Although mobile website design and responsive web design principles are nothing new, many designers and companies have not put much importance on making the transition from the old to the new. That time is coming to an end. More and more companies and web designers are taking on a “mobile first” mentality when it comes to presenting their content online. Those who fail to follow suit will find their customers slipping away to more accommodating online providers.
“But I Already Have a Website that Works Just Fine!”

Well, if that’s the case, the obvious solution would be to have a completely separate and distinct web design created to present your content to mobile users. There are several advantages to this solution:

  • Stand-Alone mobile website design solutions typically load much faster than responsive web design solutions
  • Your existing large-scale website can be left as is
  • A stand-alone mobile website design is usually less expensive than designing a responsive website

But What About Responsive Web Design Solutions?

Although, on average, responsive websites that dynamically alter content presentation and layout by detecting view port size tend to load slower on mobile devices than a stand alone mobile versions responsive designs have a greater sense of continuity in presentation and design throughout the entire span of various screen sizes and resolutions. Instead of providing two, static presentation schemes, where one design inevitably comes across as an add-on or an afterthought, a fully-responsive web design looks well thought out and uniform across all devices.

As processor speeds and mobile devices become more and more technologically advanced, and existing methods of data transfer become more and more optimized, the differences in load time performance between stand-alone mobile website design solutions and responsive web design solutions will begin to diminish. Then, I suppose, the choice will most likely become primarily influenced by industry and customer demographics. Either way, it’s time to take action and pick a mobile website design solution that’s both ideal for you and your for customers.