One of the most important steps in the design process is accumulating the information you’ll need. This is usually achieved by either a face-to-face meeting with the client, a questionnaire, or even a Skype meeting if you really wish to establish a personal relationship with your client. In gathering this information, you now know your client’s objectives and can focus on the details for inclusion in your brief.
The Brief: Although it may seem like more work than necessary, a design brief has a couple of key benefits, no matter how big or small the project seems to you:
- It ensures the client knows what he or she wants from the project
- It acts as your point of reference during the project
The more information the client provides initially, the better the result for the both of you (especially the client). Topics for inclusion in the design brief may vary but a few good starting points may be:
- Corporate Profile – A summary of the business
- Market Position – An evaluation of the company’s service/product in relation to the competition.
- Communication Task – What’s the message trying to be conveyed and through what means (e.g. taglines, body copy, photography, etc.)
- Target Market – Demographics — the age, gender, income, employment, geography, lifestyle of those the client wants to reach.
- Objectives – What quantifiable result does the client want to achieve?
- Schedule/Deadline – A realistic schedule of how the project should proceed.
At this stage it’s also a good idea to accept a deposit for the first half of the project.