Creating a Design Brief
Many people who hire designers, whetherit is a web, graphic or industrial designer, of tendon’t pay as much attention to their design briefas they should. A design briefis very similar to a business plan: it is a document that delves into the details and feasibility of your design and helps to guide a designer as they work on your project.
Giving your designer a detailed, well-thought out and researched design brief will result in a shared understanding of visions and goals and empower the designer to create an innovative design that truly reflects your desires and expectations. The following are some of the things that should be included in a good design brief.
Comprehensive Company Information
In your brief, fully describe your company, organisation or project for which you will use the design. Your designer will need to understand the “who” behind the design that it is meant to convey. What is the company or project about? How long has it been around? What product, service or message does it offer to the public? What role or place does it occupy in the local, regional, national community or sector? What makes it unique? The answers to these questions will set your designer off on the right path.
Let your designer know as much as possible about the demographics of the population your design is meant to speak to. What is the age range, socio-economic status, culture, location, interesting or unique characteristics, and so on?
These are important technical parameters that must go into the design, for example, if you have absolute requirements for a certain format, size, shape, choice of colour or language that must be reflected in the final product. If the design will be used on promotional items, then you should discuss with your designer the types and range of possible items the design will have to fit onto. This will help them to create something that is flexible and attractive regardless of the medium it is displayed on,
Objectives and Goals
What objectives and goals do you hope to achieve with this design project? What kind of message do you want to convey through the design? What kind of mood, emotion or feeling do you want the design to impart on its viewers or users? If you are not initially clear about the objectives, goals and messaging of your design project, now is a good time to work them out, rather than after the product has been made.
Budget and Scheduling
A good design brief will provide the designer with a clear budget within which to constrain their work. A vague budget can result in cost over-runs, which can be nasty for both you and the designer, especially if you cannot pay.
A clear budget also allows the designer to focus on what is expected and needed, rather than going over-board on a design that may end up too sophisticated for your budget. In addition, give your designer a well laid-out schedule of your entire project, with clear indications of where the design aspect of the project fits into the overall plan. This will help your designer to manage their time well and meet crucial project deadlines.