You have successfully landed a new UI/UX design project. But there are key pieces of information that you need to obtain from the client before you start working on it. These key pieces are encapsulated in what is commonly known as a design brief.
A design brief is a path to better client relationships and a successful project. Design brief can be improved by asking them some important questions and keeping minimum friction.
In this article, you will learn about the relevant questions that should be asked to your clients, and included in a design brief.
Let’s get started.
What is a Design Brief?
A design brief is a document displaying the guidance, instructions, and directions with the expected timelines and budget for the project.
It is created by an individual or team leading the project in collaboration with the client. The client’s input can’t be overlooked as it is crucial to have a better perspective and is important for the success of the project.
Why is a Design Brief Important?
A clearly and comprehensively written brief will help set goals, avoid misunderstandings, and help designers abide by the deadlines.
A design brief acts as the roadmap for the entire project. It is a reference document for all the team members including the client.
A good design brief will help designers think more clearly and work within the client’s scope of work.
7 Questions to Ask Your Clients to Include in Design Brief
A well-written design brief must have the following key pieces of information, which can be obtained by getting answers to these questions:
1. What is your company about?
Firstly, before taking on any UI/UX design project, ask your client to tell you more about their business. Hear their brand story in their own words. Understand their working process, common industry practices, and their business goals.
You can take a step ahead and ask your client to summarise their business in a few sentences. This will help you grab the essence of the business and focus on the right objectives.
Find out their key values, the market reputation, level of experience in the industry, and the mission and vision of the business.
2. What do you want to achieve with the design?
Ask your client the objective they want to achieve with this project. In what ways will the outcome help the business?
The different types of objectives can be:
- Increase the number of visitors
- Grow sales
- Enhance user retention time on the website
- Simplify user flows
- Gain brand visibility
- Encourage users to sign up for the newsletters
If they can’t decide the objectives for the project, you can provide a helping hand by understanding the pain points of the business and aligning the goals with them.
Underlining the goals and their solutions in your brief can significantly help you stay ahead in the process while building a good relationship with the client.
3. Who’s your target audience?
Questioning your client about their target audience can help you create an accurate user persona.
Design is subjective and its beauty holds a unique perspective for everyone. You’re not solely designing for your client, you are designing so that your client’s target audience can resonate with it.
What’s the benefit when your client loves the design but their target audience finds it irrelevant? Figure out the audience age, demographics, type of content they consume, purchasing capacity, lifestyle choices, etc.
The more you know about the target audience, the better you can design for them.
4. Who are your main competitors?
Discovering your clients’ main competitors can help you achieve your clients’ goals easily.
The clients’ competitors are another great source of important strategic information. They can help you guide your design by understanding the elements that work well on them.
As competitors belong to the same industry, the target audience also remains the same. By studying the competition comprehensively, you can make out the preferences of your target audience.
Your intention should not be to copy the design but to learn from their success and failures. Analyze them completely and reflect the learnings in your design.
Now, as you have done your competitors’ study, identifying your clients’ unique selling points will be a cherry on the cake. It will help you stand apart from the cut-throat competition.
Ask your client the different ways with which they can grab users’ attention and make them appreciate the design.
This question might seem like a heavy load on your client’s shoulders but your USP should not be something extraordinary or orthodox.
It can be as straightforward as free consultation calls, 24×7 customer services, heavy discounts on great deals, quick delivery, and recommending the cheapest and quality products to your users.
Anything that is unique and not practised by your competitors can be your USP.
5. Who are the key persons involved?
While there may be a single person that communicates with you, generally he/she is not the final decision maker on the project.
Also, it’s difficult to impress the entire team with your design, resulting in unnecessary continuation of the project with more revisions.
Therefore, if you’re working with clients that are not the final decision-makers but have a team with them, make sure to learn about everyone on the team and introduce yourself to the final decision-maker.
As the design is subjective and the definition of a good design varies for everyone, it becomes difficult to ask for everyone’s approval for a particular design.
In such instances, you want to directly approach the final decision maker, ask them for their feedback and acknowledge their decision.
Respect everyone’s feedback but consider only that of who is in charge.
6. What are your company’s creative and technical requirements?
Every business has specific creative and technical requirements.
Ask your client about their creative requirements as it helps maintain a balance between their and target-audience preferences.
Question them about the type of design they want; formal and professional, bright and trendy, or a combination of both.
Also, show them examples of various creative works to understand their perspective and the kind of design they are looking for.
You can ask them the combinations of colours they want in the design. It’s a good idea to provide them with a colour palette but it can get confusing sometimes.
Again, show them examples of websites using different colours and earn their approval for 2-3 colour combinations. You can learn more about choosing the right colours in our article.
After understanding the creative requirements of your client, ask them their technical needs. It’s a crucial step for the smooth functioning of the software and the development process.
A few technical requirements include accessibility; which refers to making the project, software, or service more accessible to all levels of users.
For example: adding captions to a YouTube video for hearing impaired users. Another example is the performance aspect which indicates the performance of the project.
In simpler terms, the performance aspect refers to the loading time of the page and how interactive is the design? It is the best practice to load a page within 2 seconds for the best user experience.
Therefore, before moving further with the project, ask your client about the creative and technical requirements.
7. What’s your budget & expected deadline?
Don’t end your design brief without asking about the budget of the client. A budget estimate will help you draw the kind of solution you can realistically provide.
Along with that, understand the deadlines of the project. If the deadlines are too close and can’t be achieved, make your client understand as soon as possible.
Employ this design brief to find out the working hours of your client, the modes of communication ( email, phone, skype, etc ), and the number of revisions involved. These are all small aspects but affect the project greatly.
Including all these seven key pieces of information at the start of a UI/UX design project will provide your client with a helping hand and make them easily communicate their ideas.
This will help you keep the project on track and work according to the clients’ requirements. At Octet Design Studio, we do a kick-off meeting with client’s team to gather all of this information for the design brief.
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