Want to be an effective designer, use a design brief!
One of the greatest gifts we have as human beings is imagination, we also have focus, which allows us to come up with an idea and make it come to life. When it comes to graphic designers, we are lucky, we have a specific use and need of the idea, unlike those poor physicists, who are trying to find a particle that they just “know” exist but they cannot see it, find it, or prove it’s existence, oh, how I feel their pain, but I digress! Now it’s our job to make our client tell us what it is specifically they are after in their request from you, a designer, so they do not get a taste of what it’s like to search for Higgs boson particle. Yes, it is our job. Call it baby sitting or whatever you like, but it’s up to you to get the information you need from your client/manager/boss to create the most wonderful, Oh Em Gee, it’s so beautifully functional design, that puts a huge grin on your clients face (well maybe the huge grin is going a bit too far). Either way, grin or no grin it’s very important to get all the information you need, how can I get all that information you might ask? Easy! Use a design brief.
Having a design brief accomplishes two very good things, it gives you clear focus as far as your design objectives (gives you the information you need), and it disciplines your client/manager/boss to express their thoughts clearly and coherently. Win-win for everyone! There are no “but I thought you said” or “I forgot”, or “I never said that” etc etc. Everything is right there in black and white, no misunderstandings. Beautiful and simple, just the way I like it! So without further ado here is the the Design Brief form I use, which you are welcome to download and amend it for use it in your work place or with your clients.