12 Steps To Write A Design Brief For Your Web Design Projects
Writing a comprehensive design brief for your web design projects is essential for keeping them on track.
You might not understand the importance of a design brief just yet, but by the time you finish reading this article, you will be confident that such a thing is necessary.
Here's how you can write a design brief for your web design projects in twelve easy steps.
The Basics of a Design Brief
A design brief has several purposes, including:
- Provide you and the designer with all the necessary information about the design in question.
- Offer your team a more detailed picture of the expectations about a particular web design project.
- Help you keep all the individual contributors on track as well as corresponding to the time and budget of the project.
- Give the client a sense of involvement in the project and allowing you to understand their taste and view better.
1 – An Overview of Your Business
The first section in your brief should be dedicated to your business.
Think of it as your company profile or bio where you include all the possible details about your brand.
You have to include such things as:
- Company name, industry, address, and so on
- Brand selling position and unique features
- Brand vision, mission, values, and messaging
- Key stakeholders, team members, contributors
- Direct competitors (this will also be a separate section)
Remember that this is just an overview of your business and you will be providing more detailed information further on in the brief, so try not to make this section way too long.
2 – The Objectives of Your Design Project
The next section must outline the objectives of your design project.
You didn't just decide to start it out of the blue, right?
If your project requires a new logo for your brand, think whether you want it to be a logotype or a logomark design and why you want it to be this or that.
Determine the aim you are pursuing and describe it.
Having a clear set of goals and success factors will make you understand your project better and provide your designer with a better picture of what your project is.
Ask yourself how the project will be successful and what should be done to achieve this success.
3 – Your Target Audience and Market
This is perhaps one of the most critical sections of your entire design brief.
The thing is that any design project is meant to solve the problems not only of the business itself but also of its customers.
This is why describing your target audience is crucial for your designer to do a better job and make your web design project into a successful endeavour.
Try to include as many details about your target audience as you can.
Think of their age, gender, occupation, location, interests, habits, and so on.
You can even include whether or not they have a car or own pets.
4 – The Problem You're Facing
You may think that the objectives of your design project and the problems your business is facing are the same, but they are two different things.
Goals are where you want to be; problems are where you are now.
This is why it is so important to include both of them to see the difference and be able to understand what changes should be done.
Realise what you are facing and describe your problems in detail.
It may be a bit painful, and you will be dreading this moment, but this section must be included in your brief to make it useful.
5 – Project-Specific Information
This section can be tricky for two reasons:
- If you add too many details, you may set restrictions for your designer that will prevent them from making the most out of the project.
- You may not even know what it is exactly what you need.
You don't need to make the project-specific information too technical, but if there are any requirements you have, make sure to include them.
The more information you can share about your project here, the better.
Just remember that you are using the services of your designer to get recommendations, so don't be afraid to change some things in the process and always be open to new ideas.
To help you write your project-specific information, you can use different tools and services such as Grammarly (checks grammar, punctuation, and spelling), Grab My Essay (can write your brief for you), Google Docs (allows sharing and editing word documents with teams in real-time) Best Essay Education, and Hemingway Editor (highlights adverbs, passive voice, and complicated sentences).
6 – More about Your Business
At the very beginning of your brief, you gave an overview of your business, but now it is time to elaborate and provide even more details for your designer.
Ask yourself such questions:
- What have you done to arrive at this point?
- What is your brand strategy?
- Why did you get started?
- What are you most proud of?
- Who makes up your team?
7 – Competitor Information
Any marketing blog such as 3 to 5 Marketing, for example, will tell you that knowing who your competitors are is always a must.
They have much influence on your business and the industry, so you must be aware of whom you are competing against.
Decide whether you want to fit in or stand out and describe your decision in this section.
You must help your designer to understand who your competitors are for several reasons:
- If your designer knows your competitors, they will better understand who you are.
- They will be able to make your brand different from your competitors so that you don't “copy” them.
- They will help you either fit in or stand out depending on what your goal is.
8 – Project Timescales
Setting timeframes and deadlines will not only help the project to stay on track but also help your designer decide whether or not they can take it.
For example, if they are currently full and you need your project to be done as soon as possible, they might want to decline.
It is important to set accurate timescales rather than something vague.
If you are lost as to how much time your web design project may take, here are some approximate numbers:
- Branding Project: 6-12 weeks
- Website Project: 6-16 weeks
9 – Project Budget
Money is always the topic that nobody wants to start the discussion about first.
Unfortunately, more often than not, you will have to be the one proposing the budget, so make sure that you know what it is.
You don't want to scare anyone away with a number too small or one too big, so make your research and find out what the average cost of your type of design project is.
At the same time, you don't need to list your budget to the penny.
Including even an approximate number is fine.
10 – Contact Information
Here you must list not only the website of your company but also the person who will be in charge of keeping in touch with the designer.
If you are the one writing this brief, then it's probably you who is in charge of the project.
Be sure to include your name, title or role, your email address, and your personal number.
If you are getting in touch with the designer via a messenger app, make sure to specify which one and ask beforehand whether or not it is a possible channel for communication.
11 – How the Project Will Be Awarded
If you are planning to send out your project to three to five designers or designer agencies to get several proposals, you might want to include this section on how the project will be awarded.
Just remember that sending your design brief to too many designers or agencies is not very respectful of their time.
First, you can visit different design blogs to get some ideas on how you can award your project.
Typically, this will depend on five main factors:
- Cost or Value for Money
- Quality of Work
- Previous Experience
- Alignment to the Design Brief
- Suitability of the Agency
You can add any other elements you consider necessary and even add the percentage of what matters more to you.
12 – Required Response
The last section of your design brief will have to include what you are expecting from your designer, by when you are expecting it, and how they can submit it.
It's pretty simple, but here's a brief rundown nevertheless:
- A Written Response to Your Design Brief: The main body of the response.
- Examples of Relevant Work: Any relevant past projects the designer had to show you what you can expect.
- Testimonials of Happy Clients: The conclusion with some customer reviews.
All in all, writing a design brief for your web design projects should not be a difficult or dreaded task as it is only natural that you will have to craft such documents at some point.
Take note of the tips in this article to make your design briefs shine.
Author Bio: Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors.