How to brief a designer.
When getting any design work done for your business, it’s easy to end up with a result that isn’t necessarily what you had in mind. This is often the cause of a bad brief, not a bad designer (although in some cases it can be!). Before heading out and finding a suitable designer for your project it’s important to be really clear on what it is you are wanting.
Asking for a ‘modern logo, or a refreshed user interface’ will often have you wasting money. This is often why I in my contact form I ask a number of questions before I’ve even spoken to you.
The success of your design solution is a result of how clearly you’ve interpreted what you wanted.
So to get you started here’s a simple outline of what you can expect to deliver as a great brief for your chosen designer.
What are you getting at the end of it? If it’s a website, it’ll be a finished website under yourdomain.com and the source files used to create the design of your website. If you’re just starting out maybe you’ll also want brand guidelines completed?At the other end of the scale, if you simply want a pop-up screen design, then just request that and nothing else.
- Target Audience or Persona.
Who are you designing this for? When creating a solution it’s key for the designer to step into the shoes of the user and find out what it is that motivates them. Which colours and layouts resonate with this target audience. When selecting photographs it’s important to find imagery that reflects the ideal lifestyle and the user themselves. As an example, you don’t want to select a formal office setting in a large commercial building if the target users are those working in coworking spaces in Bali. Mirror the user and they’ll start to see themselves using your product.
- What does Success look like?
If we were to end the project and part ways, what would your idea of a successful project look like? This can be anything from more traffic to your site, more likes on your Instagram account or simply more leads/sales. Ensure you help the designer understand what it is that is driving you to create this project. Trust me, it’s useful for them as well.
- Likes and don’t likes
One way to get designers to understand the vision you for your project is to define what it is that you do and don’t like about similar projects. This allows the designer to rule out possibilities like colour variation (hate red? Don’t use it), font choice, layout and even tone of voice.
How much would you like to spend? This isn’t about getting as much out of you as possible, it’s more about understanding what is possible within your set budget. You may have heard the saying ‘If you think it’s expensive hiring a professional, wait till you hire an amateur’. Professional designers will look to give you the best bang for your buck, advising you the best way to go about it to maximise the results of your success.
‘When will you need this by’ is always a key question when getting your project to work. Ensuring that what is possible and your timeframe meets is ideal to ensure that both you and designer understand the constraints that the work needs to be done in.
And that’s it! Outlining the above is typically what you can expect to cover when working with a designer and how I’ve worked with my clients over the years. Ensuring that there is some form of consistent communication throughout the project (with tools like Asana) will ensure that you both maintain a healthy and on-going relationship at the end of it.