UI Design: Creating a Brief Before Starting a Mobile UX Design Project
When designing a web and mobile design projects, you should have a Brief in place to help you out. Thanks to the brief we can extract basic information such as: who the target audience is, who the competition is, timing, contact communications and Media, Financial, References, etc. It will also have a reference point to start with and a lot of time spent on researching will be reduced. How do you create one for your web and mobile UI and UX Design projects? Well lets discuss that.
What, why and how
What is a Brief?
The Brief is a document that describes the main objectives, essential information and strategies to be followed in each project. It gives us the guideline to strategically plan project solutions and implementations. With this document we’ll be able to help our clients to have more clear idea of the project, and to highlight the important needs.
Why is it important?
Every good design or User Experience project needs to have a well defined process, in stages or a methodology that has been implemented for the project.
Many times when we are in a project we tend to skip some steps in the development process, such as data search, proper communication with the client or just lose the sight of the project’s objectives. These things happen if we don’t have a benchmark or a place where we can extract this important information. If you skip this step when developing a project you will get lost in the process. I’m talking about a Brief. By completing a brief you will save effort and time ninety percent of the time.
How to make a Brief document?
There are many references on how to make a good brief from complex documents to basic sheets, but we should not lose sight of the 7 main points:
1. General Information.
In this section we have the general customer data, plus the contact information and the people who are involved in the project so we know who to look up if we have a doubt, question or issue .
2. Objectives and Goals
What are the clients objectives with this project and what are their goals? Getting this kind of information from them is crucial because with this we would not lose the purpose of the project .
You have to ask some questions, for example, if it is a design project , what would be required? a redesign? or is it a new design from scratch?
In addition, we help the client to land their ideas and goals, so it will be easier for us to understand and satisfy our customers. After all, our job is to take the ideas and needs of our client and make it real.
3. Project Scope
Not all projects are equal in complexity, so we have to define what is going to be produced and what kind of support and features will be implemented. Sometimes, we deduce the scope of the project from the goals and objectives that we set . But if it is not obvious, you’ll need to ask about it. Let's make sure to ask about things like whether they will have the integration blog or social networking features, platforms or versions, etc. We want to know how much effort the project will take.
4. Available materials and Overall Style
Does the client have some kind of prototype, Logo, products or materials? It is good to take into account this kind of thing gives us a faithful guide of what we need to represent? If they have some material already from past projects, they can give us an idea of the likes and priorities as we work with him.
If you do not have that branding material, it is a good area of opportunity to offer some servicea that covers that specific need.
Requesting examples of past projects, ideas from existing products or styles will help us to define a line of work and with that we can realize and have a better idea of what the customer wants. All visual references are welcome, it saves a lot of time when we are not experienced in areas that the client has contemplated.
Who are your customers that you are trying to reach? A website, an application, or a product will not be the same to all the users and we are not going to present a same design or interaction as well for a young kid as for an adult. Is important to ask our clients as to what kind of users we need to focus on. If our client has no idea of his own type of user, we can help them by asking what type of people they want to sell , or an idea or product. They usually (I don't dare say must) have an idea of who would be their target customer.
That should reduce the number of times that the project has to completely change because we were focusing in on a different target.
6. Budget and Schedule
Times, working methods, and continuous meetings; each customer has a special way of working. Although each of us have a different and special way of working, often we have to adapt to the ways of working with our customers. Know his preferred methods of monitoring the work time. We need to have a clear idea of how we work and also communicate more efficiently and work with the client and ourselves.
7. Out of Scope.
In may projects we have contingencies, so we have to try to be prepared for those contingencies and which ones don't affect the delivery time and the cost of the project. Try to specify those elements that can be an extra cost and extra time. The client can give us an idea on how to react during processing and will also give us the security of having identified the risks and costs of those items that were not considered at first.
We can see that having a document such as the Brief will help the client give us the guidelines of the scope and limitation, time and cost of each project. Let's see it as a strategic and specific plan for each work we do and will have to cover the entire information about the project in a way that is easy to refer to the project timeline throughout.
So if you are thinking of applying a Brief for your projects, take into account the points mentioned above and apply it in a way that you can get all the necessary information from your client. In doing so be sure that you can save time and money during the development of your project.
About the Author
Christopher Sanchez is a Graphic Designer from the University of Guadalajara with 5 years of experience in Design and almost 2 years in UX/UI design projects.