What Is a Design Brief and How to Write It
UX Tips

Published on September 20, 2022

What Is a Design Brief and How to Write It

A design brief is a document that will help you and your client or stakeholders understand the scope of the project. Keeping everyone involved in the project in mind when writing one, is essential. At the end of this article you'll find a design brief example which you can use as a template.

Take the time to learn why user experience design briefs are essential and how they can help you. UX designers bring their expertise to every project they take on. If you don’t know what a UX design brief is, here’s an article on writing one that will outline everything you need to know.

What is a design brief? 

A design brief is a document that will help you and your client or stakeholders understand the project’s scope. The design brief should be written in plain language so that everyone can easily understand it.

There are two components to a design brief: the problem to be solved and the solution to be designed. The audience for this document is usually the director of product development, who may or may not have read it before handing it over to you.

A design brief is both a guide and a tool. It shouldn’t be a written document full of text and unnecessary details. In addition to explaining what the product aims to achieve, it is essential to demonstrate its user interface concept and highlight its unique features. A good design brief is organized, focused on one main idea or idea set, unambiguous, and concise.

design brief

A design brief is a key that unlocks the door to a successful product. Having a good idea is not enough; you must know what you’re doing and when. A design brief would be helpful.

A UX design brief is essentially a more detailed version of your design brief. It contains information on how users will interact with your app or website, what they’ll see and do when using it, and how you plan to measure their satisfaction with it.

Why do you need a design brief? 

A design brief is an excellent tool for ensuring that your website will come out user-friendly and engaging. It helps the team understand how they can do their best to create an experience that will meet the needs of their users while also making sure that it is functional.

Usability testing

Testing how users navigate different pages will give you information about where they are clicking, what they are looking at, and any errors that may arise. This can help you fix these issues quickly and prevent them from happening again in future tests.

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Content strategy

It will allow you to plan out what content is needed for each page so that it doesn’t feel like too much or too little information for users to wade through. It also allows you to see if there are any dead ends or bottlenecks on your site so that you can redesign them accordingly!

Teamwork

A design brief is a document that provides a high-level overview of the project and its goals. It’s a way to get everyone on the same page so that everyone knows what needs to be done as well as why it needs to be done.

Understand users better

A design brief helps determine your users’ needs and how they want to interact with your product. The goal is to determine who the product is intended for and how they will use it.

User Experience Map

In addition, it helps you create a user experience map — a visual representation of all the features in your product, from top to bottom, as well as other aspects like colors, fonts, and images. User experience mapping is essential to every design process because it helps identify problems early on so that you can provide solutions before they become big problems.

What is in a design brief? 

design brief example

Source

A design brief defines the problems you’re trying to solve, the business value that your product or service will provide, as well as the proposed solution. It outlines the goals, constraints, and assumptions of your project.

Design briefs are usually communicated to team members working on the project. They typically have a list of tasks and deliverables, a timeline for completion, as well as information about how each task affects other tasks.

A good design brief should include:

1. Project description

Are you working on a new website, a product prototype, UX work, or a redesign? The project could be e-commerce, an app, an analytics platform, etc. This can be summarized in a couple of straight-to-the-point sentences.

2. Purpose of the design brief

The purpose of your document should be clear from the beginning. It should provide enough information for everyone in your team to understand what they’re working on while giving them enough detail to prepare themselves for their role in helping with the entire process.

3. Target audience

A good design brief will help you and your team understand the target audience for your product. The target audience is vital because it can inform how you create a user experience and what elements of that experience should be prioritized.

You may want to consider:

  • Who are the users of your product? This could include people who use it as part of their daily lives (e.g., parents with children) or those who may only use it occasionally (e.g., professionals).
  • What do they need to accomplish? In general, this should be something concrete—for example, “I want to learn more about [insert topic]”—and not just vague statements like “I need help with [insert task].” You’ll also want to get into specific details about how people will interact with each component of your product and any potential problems or issues that might arise during use (e.g., anxiety when using an app).

4. Project objectives 

Project objectives are a great place to start because they define the why and how of your project. Doing this would make it easy for you to decide what tasks need to be completed, how long those tasks should take, and who should be involved. You can also use these objectives as a baseline for measuring success or failure after completing the project.

design brief

5. Competitive research

In any design brief, competitive research is essential. It will help you understand the market, which can be a source of inspiration for your products and services. Competitors can also provide ideas for new concepts or designs that you might not have thought about otherwise.

You should include competitor analysis in your design brief because every company needs to do it regardless of size or industry.

6. Business case

Why is this product necessary for your organization? Why will it generate revenue and increase market share? What’s at stake if this product doesn’t exist?

7. Rationale

 Why are you building this thing in particular? What do you hope to achieve with this experience or outcome? What are your vision statements around what you want users to see and do with your product or service?

8. Timeline and Budget

You’ll want to get your design brief done early so that stakeholders and clients will have time to review it. It is crucial to communicate well to take this step. Everyone must agree on what they need and how they feel about it. Listen carefully to each person’s perspective and respond accordingly.

After everyone has reviewed the design brief (and possibly made changes), you will need them to work together again to create content for this document, including any additional information that might be of interest (such as budget estimates).

How to write a design brief 

design brief

Create a header

A header is the first thing your customer sees when they open the design brief. Your header should be visually appealing, easy to understand and engage with, and inform the client about the services you render. 

If you’re designing a website, your header will probably be made up of images that represent your brand’s core values or include an image that represents your logo. The goal is to ensure visitors know what they’re getting into as soon as they land on your site.

Give an overview of the project

The second step in writing a UX design brief is to give an overview of the project. The goal is to define the project and how it will work. This will help you organize your thoughts and ideas and provide a framework for your team.

First, identify the type of project you are writing the design brief for. What type of business is it? Is it a startup or an established business? Once you know these things, you will understand what user experience (UX) aspects are essential for this business.

Identify your target audience

The next step in writing a UX design brief is to discuss who the design is targeted at and who its competitors are. You will know more about your users by doing this, how they interact with their devices, and why they need them.

Before writing your UX design brief, you must consider who your audience will benefit from this information. Who do you want to reach out to?

Think about these questions before you start writing your UX design brief. This will help you develop ideas for what makes your product unique and why users should care.

Outline the project’s budget

This step will help you decide how much time, money, and materials you need to complete the project. 

It’s not just about how much it will cost to make the product or service. It also includes information about potential costs if you need to hire someone else for additional work or change plans because of unforeseen circumstances.

Give an outline of the deliverables for the project

In this step, you’ll outline your project’s critical components. You can create a design brief and start the project using the outline. This will help you set expectations with your clients, so that they know what to expect from your work.

Finalize the design brief

Describe the metrics and standards for evaluating the brief. You and your client will both need to sign many design briefs. Additionally, you can emphasize any requirements or creative direction required for the project to succeed.

design brief

Design brief example

A design brief example is provided below:

Design Brief

Submitted by: Alice Jameson

Date: September 03, 2022

Company Overview

Didi Connect has over 50,000 clients and is one of the top public relations companies in the world. The company helps businesses and brands get in the spotlight by offering promotional services. Customers can communicate via its Mobile App with Didi Connect’s customer service representatives. 

Project Overview

This project aims to improve the user experience of the company’s mobile app, focusing primarily on its design.

Project goals and objectives

We aim to improve the user rating of our mobile application by 25% in the application store by the end of the year by developing a new design. In this project, we aim to:

  • 20% reduction in bounce rate
  • Create interactive interfaces to improve website navigation

Target audience

Business owners and companies living in New York who want the proper brand exposure. 

Competitor analysis

Top Competitors make the mobile app experience as simple as possible. Recent competitors designed their pages, prioritizing only user experience. Didi Connect plans to make its website application easier to navigate with simple icons, clear layouts, and colors.

Budget

The budget for this project is $2,500, which includes:

  • $2,000 for the design team fees
  • $500 for miscellaneous charges

Project Timeline

There are five steps in this design project timeline. Three days would be needed for the design ideation phase, two days for the exploration phase, and two days for the wireframe and design. The creation of the design and post-launch assistance would require fourteen days altogether.

Deliverables

The project requires a mobile application design with a better, improved user experience.

Conclusion and evaluation

The company intends to inform customers about the design modifications and keep track of client feedback until the end of the year.

Contact information

We can assist you with more information about this design project if you contact us at:

Joe Johnson

Design Lead, DesignGO

joejohnson@email.com

785-293-8680

design brief

Wrap up

A good design brief helps you and your client or stakeholders get the most out of their project. It would help if you wrote in a clear, concise, and easy-to-read manner. 

The more details you can include in your brief, the better off everyone will be. Of course, there are no hard-and-fast rules regarding writing briefs—you should tailor each one according to its needs, but having an idea about what types of users will be involved with any given project is always helpful!

The UXtweak toolkit features many excellent features to help you make the most of your diary studies. 

Make your research easier and more effective with a free UXtweak account!

Eniola Olaniyi
September 20, 2022
All author's articles

Eniola is a passionate UX designer dedicated to creating meaningful user experiences. She is also a freelance Content and UX writer.

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