Client Guide

How To Provide a Good Project Brief

Table of Contents

Client awareness

It is the role of the designer to inform clients about intellectual property rights, issues relating to data protection regulation, privacy rights, crediting work, health and safety standards, environmental standards, accessibility standards, etc.

Client Design Brief Outline

Having a good design brief helps ensure that your freelancer understand your needs perfectly to deliver what exactly you need. A sample of a good design brief has the following:-

OVERVIEW.
What is the purpose of your project and what is the scope?

OBJECTIVES.
Why is this project important? What are you trying to achieve? A clear statement of objectives includes a S.M.A.R.T :-

    • Specific: What will be accomplished? What actions take?  Setting vague goals that don't lead to anything specific is pointless.
    • Measurable: What data will measure the goal? How much? How well? Once you have a clear goal in mind, it's important to be able to measure the success or completion of the goal. This does not have to be on a traditional scale or statistic. It only needs to be measurable in some way.
    • Achievable: Is the goal doable? Do you have the necessary skills and resources? Setting realistic goals is easier when you use data, analytics, and research as your guides.
    • Relevant: How does the goal align with broader goals? Why is the result important? It's important that any goals set for teams or individuals are related to the company's overall goals.
    • Time Bound: What is the time frame for accomplishing the goal? Goals need to have a time frame. Setting a deadline too far in the future for a simple task, or an unrealistically short deadline for something complex and time-consuming, is counterproductive.

BUSINESS VISION & MISSION.
Relate the objectives to overall company positioning

TARGET AUDIENCE.
Who are your target audience: define, characterize and prioritize your audiences. The more specific, the better.

BUDGET.
What is the overall budget available to invest for project? Which tasks to prioritize first? How should it be spent?

STAKEHOLDERS.
Explain the internal approval process, e.g. who is the decision maker.

DEADLINE.
Outline a realistic date by when do you need the project to be done.

Source: https://www.aiga.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/standard-form-of-agreement-for-design-services.pdf

The advantages of a design brief

A project brief is a written explanation given by the client to the designer at the outset of a project. As the client, you are spelling out your objectives and expectations and defining a scope of work when you issue one. You’re also committing to a concrete expression that can be revisited as a project moves forward. It’s an honest way to keep everyone honest. If the brief raises questions, all the better. Questions early are better than questions late.

Another benefit of the design brief is the clarity it provides you as the client about why you’re embarking on a project. If you don’t know why, you can’t possibly hope to achieve anything worthwhile. Nor are you likely to get your company behind your project.

A brief can be as valuable internally as it is externally. If you present it to the people within the company most directly affected by whatever is being produced, you not only elicit valuable input, but also pave the way for their buy-in. When you think about it, the last thing you want is for your project to be a test of the designer’s skills. Your responsibility as a client is to help the design firm do the best work it can. That’s why you hired the firm. And why you give it a brief.

 

Clear Contractual Understandings

Contracts should clearly describe the scope and nature of the project, the services to be rendered and the manner of compensation for those services, including all potential fees or charges, through clear and inclusive terms and conditions. All costs associated with the design services offered should be clearly stated in advance. The design process should be explained clearly as to convey the sources of costs that could be potentially incurred. The designer should not receive any form of undisclosed compensation.

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