ChocsTrying to produce a good design solution, from a bad brief is like trying to choose a present for someone you have never met before. They end up with a generic box of chocolates, then it turns out they hate chocolate.

There are 3 types of bad brief:

  • The brief that is so tight, that you wonder why the client didn’t do it themselves
  • The brief where however hard you try the client can’t or won’t give you any information beyond the size of the document. Then when you take the visuals in they say “that wasn’t really what I had in mind” this is more what I was thinking (Arggg! now comes the brief)
  • The second hand brief (its like a game of Chinese Whispers). No, I take that back, sometimes a second hand brief can be good, it depends how good your client is at taking a brief. The problem arises when they are not and you are unable to find out any more information.

A client of mine who wasn’t used to taking design briefs asked me if I could create a set of questions for them that would help them collect the information I needed for a design project.

These are a few of things I suggested they ask

  • Information about the company, what they do what they are trying to achieve with this project
  • Project message/theme
  • Are there any corporate guidelines?
  • Who are their competitors
  • “Look” and “feel required”such as contemporary/ traditional/brash/minimal/corporate/fun/examples of similar things they like
  • Target audience
  • Budget
  • Technical Spec

The more information you have, the more likely you are to fulfil the clients requirements.

All the questions above are in my design brief sheet in the Design Resources Section of my blog. If anyone has any suggestions on anything I should add to it please let me know.

How do you go about getting a good design brief?