Design brief

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A design brief is a document for a design project developed by a person or team (the designer or design team) in consultation with the client/customer. They outline the deliverables and scope of the project including any products or works (function and aesthetics), timing and budget. They can be used for many projects including those in the fields of architecture, interior design and industrial design. Design briefs are also used to evaluate the effectiveness of a design after it has been produced and during the creation process to keep the project on track and on budget. Some firms rely on them more than others but there is a move towards greater accountability in the design process and therefore many people find them most useful. They usually change over time and are adjusted as the project scope evolves. Often they are signed off by the client and designer at set stages in the project.

A design brief may use the following layout:

  1. Title page
  2. Table of contents
  3. History
    • Company history
  4. Company Profile
    • Specializations
    • Designer Profile
    • Company Name
    • Past Accomplishments
  5. Problem Statement
    • Problem Description
    • Constraints
    • Budget
    • Time
    • Needs of the Problem
  6. Goals
    • What you plan to accomplish
      • Due dates
  7. Solution Analysis
  8. Synopsis
    • Evaluation
    • Conclusion/Summary

In the project management frameworks PRINCE2, a project brief is a document established in the startup process of the project and before the project starts, and is used as a foundation for the project initiation documentation.

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