What are you missing out of a design brief?

I’m currently reviewing our design brief for suppliers/agencies. I think something is missing but I’ve been looking at it a little too long and I can’t see the tree from the forrest at the moment. Are there any bits of information that you prefer to have up front that are not included in your initial review? So far I have the basics like backgound, objective, contraints, etc…

If there is something missing then you are blessed :wink:

A design brief that is to accurate can only lead you to one possible outcome.
It’s like they allready know what they want they just need someone to cook it up. Like following a recipe.
I believe that we excel when we don’t have enough information. When there’s gaps in the design brief. When it’s up to you to fill in those gaps.

So don’t worry…fill in those gaps…do interpret it your way.



I agree with Atohms… sometimes you can get too much information and it clouds your creativity.
There needs to be a balance of clear parameters and freedom to think laterally.

I’m all about having minimal info right right after reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink :wink:

A solid design brief can mean the difference between a good or bad design and a right or wrong one.

That is, a vague brief may ask for seating. You design a great chair. What is actually needed however is a sofa. Great design, but wrong.

I try hard to get very clear design brief in place before any design takes place. The trick is to look at it as not just a tool and something you have to do, butoartof othe creative process. In addition to outling the scope, need to have features and functions, target price, deliverables, etc. I also find it key to define the position relative to the market, competitors, the inline products and set the tone of the design via a visual matrix.


Good advice Atohms.

Keep it focused on your business objectives.

Anticipated production quantities and cost per unit expectations.

Deeper explanation of what the brand of the product is believed to be… it would give another important critera to judge your designs against, but also gives you freedom to interpret it as a designer

second that focus on business objectives. I think the designer should know exactly what effect his decisions are intended to have on business

I think brand history and key brand initiatives are key to know about in the brief or an appendix to the brief.

I’d brake it into

Overall Brand Info (where it’s been, where it is, where it is going)
Category specific info (this collection of products, competitive marketplace, key trends in this space)
Specific project info (target user data, preferred manufacturing methods, retail distribution…)

I’d really love a brief that would talk about the ‘big ideas’ of a brand, especially the words that sum it up and the core meanings… and then let the designer take that, apply it to the design challenge, and get creative with it. I think it would produce unexpected and quirky designs that are still focused around a consistent company idea

Thanks for the input guys. This definately helps to round out the document. After looking it over and comparing the comments here, I feel what was missing was a more creative/ambigious approach. I should be able to balance it out now and possibly reorganize a few things.