Create a design brief

What makes an exceptional creative project? If you’ve been asked this question before, did you answer based on the output or based on the process?

When we talk about exceptional creative projects, we’re talking about projects that combine the artistic abilities of the designer and the objectives of the client.

In project management, it is extremely essential to know what the clients want to see as an end result, and it is your duty as the designer to advise, apply, and adapt to your client’s needs.

But what if your client is not as well versed in the creative process as you are? What does your client need to do to be able to relay exactly what they want without effort?

This is how a design brief can help you and your client. Simply put, the design brief will serve as a paradigm for the workflow of the project, and expected outputs at a set date.

But not every design brief is effective, nor does every design brief give successful results. So how can you, as a designer, create a design brief that guarantees positive progress and outcomes?

In this blog, you’ll learn what is a design brief as well as its benefits. You’ll also learn what an effective design brief should look like and how to write a design brief.

By the end of this article, you’ll learn enough to start a design brief that satisfies your client’s demands as well as your hunger for success.

What is a design brief?

A design brief is a tool used in project management that outlines the design process. This is a document that describes the details of your role as the designer, and what the client expects as the outcome. It also serves as a guide to reach your clients' expectations, while producing realistic results.

Web design brief sample

Image taken from Unsplash

For most website designers, a design brief can often include the creative process when designing website logos or choosing the right colors and typography for the site. But it’s not always limited to that.

The design brief could also outline operations and actions expected in the site. But more importantly, the design brief could help track progress to see accurate results, and provide a comprehensive look on what you and your clients has achieved so far in the web development stage.

Benefits of design brief

Knowing what is a design brief isn’t enough, you also need to understand its benefits to fully take advantage of it.

Here are some benefits of writing a design brief:

  • Makes projects much easier to manage
  • Gives a comprehensive workflow for the project
  • Provide a clear and straightforward insight on what the client wants and needs
  • Gather critical information quickly as needed
  • Provides a realistic timeframe for the project
  • Highlights project milestones to track progress
  • Keeps the client involved in the process
  • Easily identify duties and determine person/s involved
  • Improves working communication
  • Helps prevent errors and future complications

Note that the design brief involves a conscious effort from you, your team and the client. It is vital to inform everyone involved in the project into the design brief.

Elements of a good design brief

What should a good design brief look like? How do you write website design briefs? What are the steps in making a design brief for website development?

There’s no quick answer for all of the questions above. Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a list of elements that you need to include to your design brief.

  • Summary of the project

The summary of the project should include general and basic design factors like the overall style and tone of the website. A great design brief example should discuss what the clients preferences are in terms of design. Aside from that, you can also cooperate with your client to discuss the design of his/her competitors so you can get a grasp of what design would be most applicable.

  • Objectives and Goals

Look at different sample design briefs online and they all have clear objectives. Your objectives as a designer are clearly different from your client, so you need to find ways to strike a balance and achieve both. To make your design brief objectives more measurable and realistic, you can make use of numbers and simple language. A great example of a specific objective could be to increase weekly click-through-rates by 10%, or to increase monthly conversions by 25%

  • Project Schedule and Budget

Budget can be quite a difficult subject to tap into so you need to convince your client to disclose his/her budget accurately, or else you both might risk the project in shambles. The budget is extremely important to determine where to concentrate financial resources, adn apply emergency measures in case there’s a lack of funds. The schedule is also tremendously important as you want to be able to track progress within a given timeline. Schedule also allows you to highlight project milestones.

  • Target Audience

Design brief example also often include the target audience. Ask you client about what market is she or he trying to target? Make sure that your client is able to tell you specific and relevant information such as demographics and interests. Knowing who the target market is can give you a clear perspective of what they want and need as customers. You can also discuss the device preferences or browsers of the target audience to better understand their behavior.

  • Resources and Requirements

Website design briefs should also outline the required materials and resources. What else does your client need? Is your client in need of a visually-appealing logo? These are things you need to determine early on in the process of writing your design brief. Design requirements also include creative assets, file formats and images. You need to verify all these requirements to your clients to avoid revisions. Identifying resources also help save up money, time, and energy.

Applying your design brief into the website

Now that you’ve learned how to write a design statement, you can now apply what you’ve learned by designing your website with Strikingly. If you can have access to a design brief template online, then Strikingly also offers templates to give you a head start in the website development stage.

To create an exceptional website for your client based on the design brief that you’ve written, you just need to follow the steps below:

  1. Apply design brief details on the web design

Website template

Image taken from Strikingly website

Let's say your client needs a website for her jewelry store. Your client has listed on the design brief that he/she wants a homepage that would immediately attract online buyers. Your client also discussed that he/she wants the home to have a set of menus on top of the page.

With Strikingly's website template, you can choose different designs to meet your client's demands. All you need to do is to create your Strikingly account.

Once you've created your account, you can visit your dashboard and click on 'Create New Site'. This will prompt you to a page where you can select from Strikingly's collection of web design templates.

Once you've selected the design that meets that standards of your clients, you can now apply a few changes like background image, logo, layout, buttons, color palette, and typography.

  1. Creating an online shop

Online shop page

Image taken from Strikingly product

If your client wrote on the design brief that he/she wants to sell products online, then you can easily set-up an online store page with Strikingly.

To add this page into the website design, just click on 'Add New Section', then select 'Store'. You can choose from different designs or you can create your own based on the outline of the design brief.

As you can see on the image above, Strikingly offers tools and features that allow you to showcase special products and highlight some of the store's collection.

If your client is not satisfied with the look of his/her online store page, then you can easily change the layout and background of the page. Just edit the settings on the layout and background for each section.

  1. Add audience list

Audience list

Image taken from Strikingly product

As mentioned earlier, a target audience is necessary when writing a design brief. With this feature in Strikingly, your client can get meaningful insights into the behavior of his/her target market.

To add this tool, simply click on 'Audience' on the left side menu, then select 'Audience List'.

The audience list can help your client gather information about his/her target audience through email sign-ups. This feature also allows your client to send emails and newsletters to customers.

Aside from that, you can also add forms, live chat, customers, and members on the audience list page. This can help your client get a good perspective of the audience.

A good design brief should serve as a tool to combine the goals and objectives of your client with your abilities as a designer. A great design brief should keep both you and your client on the right path to progress. With Strikingly, you can make your design brief come alive, and serve your client with the final touch of a successful web design.