Creating an Effective Design Brief in 8 Steps

If you're starting a new project, help kick things off in the best way with our 8 simple steps to the perfect design brief.

  • 4 Jun 2018
  • Web Design, Advice
Creating an Effective Design Brief in 8 Steps

We've read our fair share of poorly put together design briefs but when done well, they can be one of the most invaluable initial tools a design team can have at their disposal.

So, here's how to write a banging brief.

Start by Stating the Obvious

Honestly, it's literally impossible to be TOO clear. Tell us who you are, what you do, what you want, and what you're hoping to achieve with this particular project. Try not to overthink things and state every point as clearly as possible. Pretend we're completely clueless and give us taste of your brand identity.

Illuminate your Words with Examples

Show us how your brand is being communicated currently and how well this fits with your brand. Do you keep your marketing pared back or do you favour a more dynamic approach? Essentially acting as a list of do's and don'ts, examples will help us to make sure we're on the same page.

It's All in the Detail

Do you need to capture some nuances your current advertising has missed, or have you recently undergone a period of growth that you want your communications to embody? So, now's the time to give us all the deets!

Tell Us About Yourself

Although arguably a contender for the most nerve-wracking question it's possible to be asked during a job interview (this isn't an interview, don't panic!), there's no getting away from the fact that we need you to spill the beans on your brand. Give us everything from the nitty gritty of the birth of your brand to what your mission is for the next 1, 5, or 10 years. Sell yourself, confidence looks good on you!

Tell Us About your Competition

There will be plenty that you admire about the marketing efforts of your competition and almost certainly lots that you're already doing better. Select between 4 and 6 businesses to tell us about, focusing on the ones that we can learn something from. Spill that tea.

Outline a Handful of Positioning Axis

This will help us to understand where you are right now and where you want to be. These descriptors will naturally vary depending on the nature of your business and the marketplace you operate within but here are a few examples:

  • Friendly / Formal
  • Mass Market / Niche
  • Traditional / Modern

This might feel a bit simplistic, but mapping the positions of yourself and your competition in this way is actually super helpful. If, when identifying where you want to be, you're placing yourself in the middle of an axis, you risk becoming a bit of a vanilla brand. Vanilla's nice, but you need a bit of oomph to make an impact.

Describe a Couple of Customer Personas

Who are your audience and how do they want to interact with your brand? This information will help us to personalise the relationships you have with your audience, humanising your brand, and enabling more meaningful and emotional connections.

Reiterate your Expectations

As we said before, you really can't be too clear here. Help us to understand the driving force behind your brief and outline the outcomes you hope to achieve.

If you'd like to chat about any of this in a bit more detail, give us a call. We've got you.