How To Write An Effective Design Brief and Get The Design You Want

Do you know how to write an effective design brief that will explain to designers what exactly they should do in order to create a product or a website that you need? In this article, we are going to discuss the hottest issues of writing a good brief and explain to you what aspects to cover to get the results that you want.


Why a designer needs a brief

A creative department is no longer a prerogative of advertising agencies only. Today, almost each company has at least a copywriter and a designer who ensure a proper communication with company clients. They work together to provide the most effective textual and visual information so that a visitor’s attention is always captured by the posts they find in the news section of the website or on the Facebook page.

Besides, the creative department is frequently responsible for UI (user interface) of company products. It means that when you create a product, the designer works on its interface trying to make it more reachable for a new user. Of course, the designer cannot create this interface on their own, as they need a task with all the requirements and demands clearly explained. Without these demands, a client will get the design which may be correct from the designer’s point of view, but absolutely useless for a project. That’s why it is important to understand how exactly to write these requirements.

 How to write a comprehensive brief?


We already know that a brief is a guideline which a designer should follow to be able to create a proper design. Here are 7 aspects that you need to keep in mind while creating a brief. It is better to determine and confirm these things in advance so your designer will not have to change everything just because you decided to cut the budget of the project.

1.Write down the objectives and goals of the project

Frequently, the clients themselves do not understand what tasks the design should solve. So, first, decide on this point and only then start to create a brief. In fact, finding the answer to this question will determine a brief structure and you will understand what exactly you should include. Also, you need to define what piece of work the designer should do. Perhaps, this is a design from the very beginning when you have nothing, even the mockups of the work that should be done. This will be absolutely different from redesigning or reworking some elements.

2.Schedule of the work

Designers are creative people and they always have problems with self-control and time-management. That’s why you need to explain to the employee when exactly you expect to get the work done. It is better to set a detailed schedule to control the process of task accomplishment. For example, if you create a design of a website, set time for every page and element. Thus, you will see whether the work is done in time and how the designer copes with settled tasks.

3.Users and target audience

In marketing, the target audience is one of the key aspects that predetermine building a marketing strategy. In design, the target audience is also very important. The matter is that the audience will even determine the choice of colors for the website or product, so make sure that you’ve explained to your designer who will be the users.

4.Detailed requirements

Include in the brief such detailed requirements as for whether the icons should be unique and drawn by the designer themselves or they may use stocks to download the icons, whether they may use certain colors and elements, what elements are must-have on the page. Also, provide the designer with all company logos, corporate colors, and other important information that may be used for creating a proper product or website.

5.Budget limits for freelancers

This information should be included to the brief because of one important reason. If you cooperate with a freelancer without signing a contract, you risk paying extra charges for each additional piece of work. For example, you told the designer that you do not need custom elements for your website, but later on, you’ve decided that it would be a great idea. You ask the designer to create these elements, but they want money for extra work. Discuss these aspects in a brief in such a form that every extra work is included in the budget of the project.


It would be a great idea to include to the brief the list of your competitors explaining what things you love and hate about their designs. Thus, the designer will be able to understand how the work should look like and what they should never do to meet the terms of the brief. Also, it gives them a chance to get to know the field better and understand what things have real importance for the clients and what things can be omitted.

7.Approval of the work

Write down how and when the process of approval will take place. Perhaps, you will meet several times to confirm each element or website page, or you will meet only once. We would also recommend you to write down what exactly the designer should do before they present a project. For example, you may ask them to check the texts that they add to the page, especially if they re-type them (some designers do that if the texts are in mockups in the programs which do not allow copying of some elements). It is better for them to use proofreading service online not to make the mistakes when retyping.

Final Thoughts:

By introducing these 7 aspects in writing a brief for a designer, you solve many problems that may appear later on and simplify the process of creating and checking the design. Besides, the designers themselves will appreciate it if you give them a guideline they may follow without wasting time on thinking about how exactly a product or a page should look like and creating dozens of variants of one and the same element.

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