Think of design briefs as the vessels of your ideas that will be steered to reach your marketing goals. The sturdier your vessel, the easier will it be for your captain, a.k.a your designer, to direct this vessel towards its destination.
As a business owner or marketing manager embarking on a new design project, coming up with a suitable means to reach your goal can be a challenge. This is where design briefs come into the picture. Think of design briefs as the vessels of your ideas that will be steered to reach your marketing goals. The sturdier your vessel, the easier will it be for your captain, a.k.a your designer, to direct this vessel towards its destination.
So what is a design brief and how can you create a strong one? And how can you integrate a design brief into a Flan project ticket? This blog will shed light on the uses of a design brief and how to create a clear and comprehensive one that will translate your project goals succinctly. I’ll be also expanding on how to best integrate a design brief on the Flan platform when creating a project ticket, and when to send the design brief to your chosen designer.
Table of contents:
- What is a design brief?
- When do you need a design brief?
- Why create a design brief?
- Who reads it?
- What to include?
- Your design brief with Flan
What is a design brief?
It is a document that outlines the business goals from a design output or project. It clarifies the designer’s job by giving them information that is insightful into the business and identifies the design challenge at hand. You should also note that a design brief is NOT a contract.
When do you need a design brief?
When you’re looking for a designer to create a new website, redesign your logo, or redesign your product packaging. Any time you want to hire a designer.
Why create a design brief?
The design brief will be the reference point and guide for you and whomever you choose to hire for a specific design project, it will set the standard for what you want to be done and by when. It’s also a helpful way to describe a design task even if you have trouble describing an idea, that way designers will know what you want from the beginning.
Another thing to consider is that the design brief is the document that all project stakeholders can get back to at any point in the project. It is not set in stone, therefore, can change along the way according to what the designer and business agree on and approve. By creating a comprehensive design brief, you are saving yourself plenty of misunderstandings, emails, and phone calls.
Who reads it?
Stakeholders involved in the design project, including designers, business owners, and marketing managers.
What to include?
Below are the points that you need to cover to create a comprehensive design brief.
1. Your business overview
- Describe the nature of your business
- What do you do?
- What do you create?
- What is the sector you operate in?
A good way to cover this would be to answer questions such as, how do you make your money? What do you sell your customers? What is your business most known for? Where do you operate? Who are your customers?
2. Project Objectives
In this part, focus on explaining the business objectives behind the design project, elaborate on what your design project is aiming to achieve. Furthermore explain why you are undertaking this design project, and what measure of success you will utilize in this project. An example, if your design project is to rebrand, then you can state how a rebranding of your business would attract new consumer groups and stand out from a saturated market.
3. Target Audience
Like every outcome, someone is going to be at the receiving end of it. It’s vital that you provide your designer with your target audience since each audience is attracted by different design tools. Consider providing a few customer profiles or personas, that way your designer has a clear visual of whom they are working for.
4. Design Problem
Explain to the designer in this part why you’ve embarked on this design project. Elaborate on what doesn’t seem to be working and what were the markers that led you to this conclusion. If you’re facing issues with the packaging of your product, for example, then clarify the issues you find with the current packaging, what you like in and what you don’t like.
5. Deliverables and Features
Make sure that you clearly state the output expected of the designer and in which formats. Furthermore, state what features are expected of these deliverables, specifically what the design solution should do. In the case of branding, you could demand your designer provide illustrator and high quality .jpg formats of their designs. If the deliverable is an app that showcases your products, allows for payment and placing orders, then make sure you state these specific details.
6. Project-specific information
You are encouraged to elaborate further on specifications related to your project output in terms of operations, or anything else that you believe is important to consider for the final output of the project.
7. More Business Overview
In this section of the design brief, include any previous design work done related to the new project. Add notes related to their success, what you liked about them, what didn’t work, and what were the challenges involved. If the output is part of a marketing strategy, include this information here to give a wider understanding of what you are aiming to achieve by this design project.
It can be useful for the designer to get a general feel on what you like and don’t like visually, consequently, add as much visual content as relevant. Consider if you have any color restraints due to an already established color scheme, or branding scheme. A new designer will have to be made aware of these design restraints before starting work.
8. Competitor Information
It can be enlightening for your designer to understand who your competitors are and why they are considered your competitors. Include a small summary that lists the name of the competitor, their website information, what you like about them, what you don’t like about them, and any other information that is relevant to your design project. You can include samples of interesting visuals that you like as well and vice versa.
9. Scope and size of the project
Address whether your design project is building on something already existing i.e a re-design of an existing website, or is creating something entirely new.
10. Project Timeline
Include general deadlines for your prospective designer. Make sure to include the milestone deadlines that your business has to go by, such as project launch and completion date, or any deadlines related to project phases in between.
11. Project Budget
Although many would argue that this opens the door for designers to ask for more, make sure that you include your budget or budget range. You can add stipulations to the budget in regards to the experience of the designer, or any other major factors you feel play a part in negotiating a price with a prospective designer.
12. Further Information
In this section, include the primary person of contact for the project. Additionally, include the names of the parties involved in the approval process for a design, and how the review and approval process will work.
These 12 steps are sure to help you write a comprehensive design brief and address the major elements of a new design project. Again, the brief is not set in stone and a good designer will always dig for more information than is provided in the brief. The design brief ensures that communication between you, a business entity, and the designer starts from a common ground that covers everything even if it later evolves to include more information and changes are made to it.
Your Design Brief with Flan
When using Flan, the process of integrating a design brief is slightly different than in normal hiring circumstances. This is because when you’re looking for a designer on Flan, you start the process by posting a project ticket, which is similar to an ad that contains the major elements of a design brief. Once you’ve hired someone, you will be able to share with them any other documents relevant to the project including the design brief. It is therefore important that a design brief is ready from the beginning.
This portion of the blog is created to help you make the most of both the design brief and the project ticket on the Flan platform and support your endeavor in looking for the best suitable designer for your project.
Below is an image of the Flan project ticket that you will be posting on the platform. The project ticket should be comprehensive yet brief and should communicate major project parameters that will determine the type of designers applying for your project. Although the ticket will use the information present in the design brief, it is not a substitute and should not substitute for it.
To make sure you translate the project parameters efficiently onto the ticket, follow the guidelines set for each item on the ticket explained below.
1. The Project Title
Insert here your main deliverable, if you want an animation video for your company then have your title ‘Animation video for flower shop’. Don’t worry about the designer knowing about your company name or yours, it will automatically show to the right side of the Project Title.
2. The Tags
The tags are there to give an at-a-glance idea of what you need. If you’re looking for someone to do your branding, then type in ‘branding’, or ‘animation’ if you’re looking for an animator. If you have multiple outcomes then include tags for these deliverables, such as ‘logo’, ‘animation’, ‘merchandise’, that way the designer would be able to immediately understand that these are the outcomes you’re aiming for.
Although this is only an ad format for the design project, make the most of it and give prospective designers a clear view of what you expect them to do if they’re hired.
- Your Company Profile or website link so that they can start with a basic research on your company. Include a short summary of what your company does, what it sells and to whom.
- Project Objectives that explain what you’re trying to achieve from this design project, maybe attracting a new customer group or improving sales.
- Design Deliverables and Features. Make sure you are straight to the point and write down what the designer is expected to deliver and in what formats. Add to that any features you expect your deliverables to have, maybe a secret pocket that is specific to your brand’s bags, or a thank you card customers would find in any print your store sells.
- Scope of Project. State if this design project adds or improves a design output your company already has, or if it will include that the designer will start working from ground 0.
- Project Milestones. Since you can add project milestones once you find and assign a designer, this can be changed according to what you decide on. However, if you have set milestones already and are adamant about a specific time flow and delivery schedule, then include these phase or milestone deadlines in the summary text.
- Budget stipulations. Since you can select a budget range on the ticket on a separate tab, include any considerations you will take when selecting and offering a final price to a prospective designer. You can include years of experience, type of experience, and any other details that you believe can set a difference between one designer and another.
4. Project Duration
You may include the duration of the project, this includes all deadlines and is marked by the launch and end of a design project
You have the option to either set a specific budget, select a budget range, or leave the budget unspecified if you would like to keep the project open for all-range offers.
Part of what makes Flan unique is its focus on ‘hiring local’. For this reason, you will be approached by designers within proximity to your business or the location you set on the ticket.
The information on the ticket is a prelude to your project that once prospective designers read, they should get an accurate idea of what your project entails. Once you post the ticket, make sure that you have a completed design brief as shown in the first part of this blog. The design brief is important and will contain enough details to help the designer dig deeper into what you want them to do, it’s a document that will save you time and money and will be the reference used throughout your design project.
I hope this guide was helpful and I wish you a great experience using Flan! Let us know if you have any questions or comments below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Become part of FLAN’s freelancer community on discord and stay updated by following any of FLAN’s social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.