The Science behind Writing a Flawless UX Design Brief

Looking to get someone to design a website or app for you? Then you need a UX design brief.

It’s a document where you share your expectations, goals, and preferences with people who could be doing the design.

It’s like writing a note with “Could you do this for me? I need it for this and this,” only much more detailed.

How more detailed?

Get ready to find out. Below, find tips on how to write a to-the-point UX design brief.

What is a UX Design Brief?

UX design brief is a document with project details such as scope and goals that helps clients and designers align expectations.

For a designer, a clear and informative brief is critical to understand the needs and goals of the client with the project.

How to Write a UX Design Brief?

There’s no universal formula when it comes to UX design brief structures. They depend on the nature, scope, and complexity of the project, so can include different sections.

The essential sections are:

  • Project Overview and Scope
  • Project Goals and Objectives
  • Target Audience
  • Company Overview
  • Project Milestones and Deadlines
  • Deliverables
  • Budget
  • Review Process.

As you can see, each section in the UX design brief is supposed to help the designers understand the problem and how the client wants it to be solved.

Write a clear and to-the-point brief - and you’ll get a bunch of responses from designers interested in taking on the challenge and help you.

Okay, so now let’s go over each section from the structure.

1. Project Overview and Scope: Give Background Information

In the first section, your main goal is to help the design team understand your project.

One good way is to describe:

  • How your company reached the current situation. What events and needs led you to the need to develop this project
  • Previous related projects. Are there any similar projects that you’ve done before? How did they turn out?
  • The role of the project in the long-term company’s plan. Design projects are often a part of a larger marketing or brand building effort
  • Relevant research. If you’ve done any customer surveys or research that could help designers to create a better product, describe the findings.

Focus on these four points while writing the project overview. But feel free to add any relevant details if they might be helpful to designers.

Next, the project scope.

Try to be clear about what you consider the scope and what’s not.

If there might be some secondary tasks to the project, do say so, rather than assuming that the designers will figure it out by themselves.

Also, if there are other folks looking at technical SEO or any other tasks, make it clear. Any surprises down the line need to be avoided.


2. Project Goals and Objectives: No Solutions

As the name suggests, you describe the main goals and objectives of the project here. The best thing you could do here is to make them super specific and add some reasoning behind each.

So here’s the template:

  • A goal or objective description
    • Why you need to achieve it.

For a UX design brief for a website, a typical goal might be:

  • Reduce the bounce rate on landing pages by 30 percent
    • The current bounce rate is too high, and conversions are down.

Keeping this section concise is important, so try to leave all unrelated details out. In fact, consider checking your brief with tools like Grammarly or GetGoodGrade to get it proofread and edited.

As for goals and objectives, describe each in one sentence - this is the limit that should keep things in order. At this point, the goal is to give the designers a general sense of what you need to achieve.

Writing Project Goals and Objectives: Common Mistakes

Another important thing: you need to know the common mistakes people make here.

One is making goals and objectives too abstract and poor in detail. That’s like saying “reduce bounce rate” without any thresholds or indicators. That means that a one percent reduction is already a success!

Another common mistake is suggesting a bunch of design ideas, test testing preferences, and technology explanations. The designers are more than willing to explain everything you need to reach your goals, so try not to prescribe any approaches.


3. Target Audience: What You Know About It

Who is the target user of the future design product?

What are their preferences when it comes to products or services like yours?

What do they think about your company?

These are the essential questions you’ll need to answer in this section. To create a usable and useful product, designers have to understand who’s going to use it and why.


Web design is important for business success - if your customers don’t “feel” it, the engagement will be unsatisfying.

To avoid that, the most relevant qualities of your typical client:

  • Demographics: age, location, etc.
  • Professional and personal goals
  • Pain points
  • Hobbies
  • Primary value they’re seeking from the product/service.

Ask your marketing folks for a customer persona - a representation of your ideal customer. For design folks, it’ll be super useful to create a UX persona - an archetype of a user profile based on needs and behaviors.


4. Company Overview: Let Designers Know Who You Are

What are your products and services?

How big is your company? What’s your mission? Vision? Values?

And, most importantly, what makes you unique among others?

In this section, the client is supposed to give designers a sense of their company. This knowledge helps to understand the intentions, goals, and motivations behind the project.

Timberland’s About Us page is a great example of a company overview. Not only does it a good job describing the business, but it also can inspire like-minded designers to work with you. 


5. Project Milestones and Deadlines: Share Critical Project Dates

Like with any other project, the contractor needs to know the deadlines. But including something like “I need to be done by January 12” is not enough.

A UX brief should be more detailed.

Here’s a plan for a website design project milestones:

  • Site map development
  • Content plan
  • Creation of design mockups
  • Website development

Feel free to use these milestones and add an approximate deadline to each. It’ll help both you and the design team manage their work and expectations.

“There’s one more reason to add such detailed deadlines: team management,” says Sophia Tyler, a UX writer from research paper writing service. “If you need your project to be done in a short timeframe, the agency will need to provide a bigger team.”


6. Deliverables: Determine “Tangible” Project Stages

This section is a collection of deliverables - they are items that mark different stages of web design projects.

Here’s a list of deliverables for a typical website design project:

  • Creative brief. An overview of an entire project (goals, scope, user personas, etc.)
  • In simple terms, they are the outline of the website
  • Simulations of website functionality and appearance
  • Final design prototypes. A working website version, ready for launch.

The deliverables would serve as a roadmap for the project for the client. Since they mark significant stages, they’re the best to help manage their expectations.


7. Budget: Share How Much You Can Afford to Spend for the Project

Many clients of web design agencies are reluctant to share their budgets right away and for a good reason. Some design contractors tend to respond with the same price, which looks suspicious.

However, if you’re sending your brief to a handful of chosen agencies, including your budget is a good idea. To them, having the final price estimate is helpful. For one, they can figure out solutions within your price range.


8. Review Process: How You Want to Check the Results

The review process involves an assigned person judging the quality of design work. If they give the green light, the project can proceed to another stage. Conversely, a lack of approval from the reviewer means it’s back to the drawing board.

In this section, describe:

  • Who is responsible for the review from your company
  • How the designs will be evaluated
  • The frequency of reviews
  • The timeframe for clients to provide feedback.


Feel Free to Share Designs that Inspire You

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.”

This famous quote by Jim Jarmusch, an American filmmaker, beautifully describes how many artists get their inspiration.

Not advising you to steal anything, obviously, but getting ideas from somewhere else. There’s nothing wrong with following the best practices. Plus, it’s a great method that can give you a starting point in design.

So, are there any designs you like?

Maybe some creative logos you find inspiring?

Or optimized high-converting landing page designs?

Or maybe stunning app designs with that elegant feel you’re looking for?

If the answer is yes, feel free to share them. How? Make an annex to your UX design brief and add links to the designs you love.

Try also to explain why you love a particular design in a few sentences. They’ll help UX folks to understand your goals and the vision of the future design.


How to Write a UX Design Brief: Summary

So, here you go.

That’s how to write a great UX design brief for your next web design project.

It’s a really important document, so kudos to you for checking out this post. Use these tips, and your brief should return interest from developers and not a bunch of questions.


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