15 Pro Secrets To Achieving The Perfect Client Design Brief

A great design brief is a work of art. The perfect mix of information and insight, it’s the first step your client takes in working with you to create something beautiful. It’s also how you get clients in the first place! 

A great brief makes a clear statement of what your client wants and why they want it, while also helping them discover who they are as a brand. If you’re looking for an example of what makes up a good design brief, look no further than these 15 key tips from industry professionals.

The Design Brief (Ep1/4) | Free Example | Design Insights
1. Understand the client’s goals and objectives thoroughly.
2. Collaborate closely with clients to gather all necessary information.
3. Use open-ended questions to uncover client preferences and vision.
4. Clarify project scope, deliverables, and expectations upfront.
5. Define a clear and realistic timeline for the project.
6. Communicate openly about design concepts and iterations.
7. Incorporate the client’s brand identity and values into the design.
8. Prioritize simplicity and clarity in design briefs.

1. Let Them Know The Questions You’ll Be Asking Upfront.

One of the best ways to ensure that you get the right answers is to ask thoughtful, specific questions. The better your questions, the more likely you are to get specific and meaningful information from clients. 

And when it comes time for your client to answer those questions, they’ll appreciate knowing what’s coming and being able to prepare their thoughts ahead of time.

It also helps them feel like their contribution matters and will make them more inclined to offer thoughtful feedback in general. 

If a client knows that they’ll be asked about every element (or almost every element) of their design brief, then it won’t come as a surprise when we’re asking about things like font choice or palette selection and they can think about these things before we even start talking about them!

Building a deep understanding of your customers’ preferences is essential for delivering successful design projects. Discover the secrets to gaining the clearest insights into customer desires with our guide on getting the clearest picture of what customers want and refine your design approach accordingly.

2. Make Sure To Ask About The Audiences They Have In Mind!

One of the most important things you can do when you’re creating a client design brief is to make sure that you know who your audience is. This doesn’t mean just knowing what they look like and what their interests are; it also means understanding the people behind those demographics. 

Who are these people? What kind of pain points do they have? What goals do they have in mind? What makes them tick, both literally and figuratively? The answers to these questions will help shape how your team approaches your project, so make sure that they’re included in any brief you create.

3. Ask About Their Main Objectives, And What They Hope To Achieve With A Design Project

The most important thing to understand is why you’re getting down to business. What is the goal of the project? What is the main objective? What does success look like? How will you measure it? Why is this a good time for this project? 

In some cases, there may be multiple objectives or several ways in which success can be defined. This will depend on your client’s unique situation and goals and that’s why it’s so important to get all of these details out on paper (or, more likely given today’s tech-savvy world: in email).

Crafting the right questions can be a powerful marketing strategy. Learn how to formulate questions that drive engagement and gather valuable insights in our article on asking questions that help you market to enhance your client design brief creation process.

4. Discuss Any Logistical Constraints Or Deadlines You May Encounter

This is a no-brainer, but make sure you know what the client needs before you start. You need to ask about their time expectations and budget constraints as well as any other deadlines they may have.

If it’s a small business or startup, they might not have much money to spend on your project. If this is the case, find out if there are any specific resources or assets that they can provide (such as photos) to help offset costs.

5. Explore The Client’s Past Experiences With Design Projects

Your client also needs to see benefits in the project. Asking them about their past experiences with design projects can help you discover what they like and don’t like, which will help you when designing and planning for the future.

Once you’ve asked questions about their past and present, explore what they would change if they could go back in time and if there are any mistakes you can try to avoid.

Finally, ask your client about any new skills that he or she wants to learn from this project or otherwise improve upon as a graphic designer or business owner.

6. Ask Why They Chose To Work With Your Company, And What They Expect From You

This is a great question because it will give you insights into what the client expects and needs, as well as help you figure out if you’re a good fit for the job. You want to know who the client is and what they expect from your company. 

If there’s anything in particular that they are looking for in terms of design or development, this might be something that wasn’t mentioned before but could be relevant to your business’ services.

Additionally, asking this question will help build rapport with the person answering and give them a reason to trust that you’ll deliver on their expectations (which will only benefit everyone involved).

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7. Listen Carefully To Their Answers! Don’t Be Afraid To Dig Deeper!

As you’re listening to the client, don’t be afraid of asking them additional questions if you need more information. If they give a brief answer or say something that doesn’t quite make sense, ask them to explain further. For example:

  • “What do you mean by that?”
  • “Could you give me an example of what this looks like?”
  • “Is there anything else I should know about?”

It’s also important that you write down any questions that come up during your conversation with the client. You may find that once the meeting is over, it’s hard to remember everything said during your call! Write down any questions as soon as possible so that they don’t get lost in your head forever (or until next time).

8. Be Prepared To Pivot On Your Questions Based On The Client’s Responses

It’s important to be prepared for a client meeting, but even the best-prepared interviewer should feel comfortable shifting their approach based on what they’re learning from the client. A good interviewer will ask different questions than they initially planned on asking as they learn new information.

It’s also important that you’re flexible enough to change course if needed: maybe your initial set of questions was leading the conversation in one direction and now you need to pivot into another topic area more relevant to how you can help them achieve their goals.

A good rule of thumb is that if you’re having an interesting conversation with your clients and it feels like there are opportunities to explore further, don’t be afraid to ask different questions than those in your initial plan!

9. Ask About Existing Design Work That Has Been Done For The Project (If Any)

If you’re starting with a blank page, asking about existing design work that has been done for the project (if any) is probably your best bet. It’s not always possible to get this information from clients, but it’s certainly worth asking.

If there is previous work, it can help determine their style and aesthetic preferences. You may find out that they love vintage images of New York City or maps showing the evolution of technology over time both can give you ideas on how to convey their personality and history through your designs.

This also allows you to ask questions about what they like about a piece of existing design work, as well as what they would like to change if given another shot at it now that they’ve had some experience working with designers over time (and know more about what they want).

Data collection is the backbone of successful marketing research. Explore our insights on collecting data for marketing research projects to ensure your design briefs are grounded in reliable and comprehensive information.

10. Listen For Any Tension Between Departments  Who Is Leading This Project? Who “Owns” The End Product?

Listen for any tension between departments who are leading this project? Who “owns” the end product? If there is no clear answer, the project may be in jeopardy.

Does the client have a designer on their team who can take ownership of their design brief? Are they working with a developer or agency that will be taking ownership of their website build and not just providing them with a static mockup (which can often be misleading)?

11. Ask If There Are Any Brand Guidelines In Place (And If Not, How Should You Approach Branding?)

A brand is a person, place, or thing that represents a certain set of values and expectations. A brand guide is a document that outlines those values and expectations, often in the form of logos, colors, and fonts. 

Brand guides can be very useful if you’re working with a client who already has one in place. They allow you to get stuck into creating beautiful visual assets without having to worry about whether they fit with the rest of the branding.

However, if your client doesn’t have any brand guidelines in place yet, how do you go about approaching branding as part of your brief? You will need to strike up conversations with them about what they believe their brand identity should be based on their unique characteristics (e.g., service offering).

12. Get A Feel For What Kind Of Aesthetics Draw The Client In Ask Them Specifically About Colors And Fonts!

It’s important to get a sense of the client’s preferred color palette, as well as their general preferences for fonts. For example, if you know that your client likes to use dark colors and strong black-and-white typefaces, it will be easier for you to design something they will love.

You should also ask your client about visual references that they like. This can be anything from examples of other designs they find appealing on Pinterest, Instagram, or in magazines or even just photos that remind them of the tone they want their brand to have (think: high-end luxury items).

13. Questions About Budget And Timelines Are Equally Important

You can’t know how much time you’ll need to complete a project without knowing the scope of the project. And you can’t quote a client unless you know what her budget is. Asking about both these things will help your client be realistic about the scope of work required for their business, and ensure that they have the money to pay for it.

In addition to clarifying these two aspects of the project’s timeline and cost, make sure that your quote includes as many details as possible. 

This will give clients an accurate idea of what they’re signing up for and also prevent any nasty surprises down the line when they realize that their expectations weren’t met because they didn’t factor in certain expenses or timelines into their original bid.

14. Take Detailed Notes On All Of These Conversations, So You Can Refer Back To Them Later!

It’s important to keep notes throughout the design process. You can use a digital tool like Microsoft Word, Evernote, or Google Docs and combine it with pen-and-paper notes if you prefer. Make sure to record the date of your conversations. 

This way, when you need to go back through them later for reference or to double-check something, you know exactly where everything is organized in time order!

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With A Little Preparation And Forethought, You’ll Be Able To Gather All The Info You Need

With a little preparation and forethought, you’ll be able to gather all the info you need during your conversations with clients.

Prepare Yourself

Making sure that you have everything at hand is an important part of getting the right information. Be prepared to take detailed notes as you speak with clients, and if possible, draft some mock-ups based on what they tell you about their project. 

This will help them understand exactly what their project will entail in terms of time, budget and resources. It also means that when it comes down to crunch time when deadlines are looming or other challenges you won’t find yourself scrambling for answers.

Be Flexible

One thing that can throw off any design brief is change requests from clients after contracts are signed or initial payment has been made (or both). While this isn’t ideal, it’s important not to let these changes derail every aspect of your work environment. 

Instead, try being open-minded about how things might work out differently than initially planned often things end up better because of this flexibility!

Listen Carefully

Listening attentively is essential when taking notes during client meetings; however many times have we told ourselves “I know exactly what they just said”? 

Without paying close attention during these discussions there’s no way anyone could ever keep track of everything being discussed in such detail over multiple meetings hours at a time!


We hope that you have found this roundup of client design brief tips to be both helpful and inspiring. In the end, what matters most is that you always put your clients first and show them that their needs are the top priority in your work. This will lead to a long-lasting relationship where you can continue to build trust and create beautiful products together.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources that can provide further insights into creating effective design briefs and improving your client communication:

Design Brief Example: How It Should Look Like and What It Should Contain: Explore a comprehensive guide that showcases a design brief example and outlines the essential components it should include for clear communication between designers and clients.

Questions to Ask Your Client for a Successful Design Project: Discover a list of crucial questions to ask your clients during the briefing process. These questions can help you gather the necessary information and insights to create a design that aligns with their vision and goals.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Design Brief: Dive into a detailed guide that walks you through the process of writing an effective design brief. Learn about the key elements to include, the importance of collaboration, and how to ensure clarity in your design projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Design Brief?

A design brief is a brief for the design of an object or space. It should include information about the audience, purpose, and goals of the project to guide designers through the process and make sure that they are designing something useful for your users. 

What Is The Importance Of A Design Brief? 

A well-written design brief will help ensure that everyone involved in creating your app knows what they need to do their job well and get it done on time (or at least better than if they didn’t). 

How Long Should A Good Ux Design Brief Be? 

The length of your UX Design Brief depends on how much detail it needs to contain and how many people will be working on it with you (for example one page might suffice if no one else besides yourself reads it). 

However, most companies do prefer something between four pages and eight pages long because this allows them enough room without being too detailed either way – so try somewhere around there! 

What Are Some Key Elements Found Within Good Ux Design Briefs? 

These include but aren’t limited to: * Target Audience: Who are we building this product/service for? What type of person would use this product most often?”

So you’ve read this article and want to get on board with the best practices of a good design brief? Great! Here are some answers to commonly asked questions.

How Do I Structure A Creative Brief?

First, ask yourself: What kind of project is it? Is it an illustration or a website? Once you’ve answered that question, write down your main goal for the project. 

Then determine what kind of client experience you want them to have will it be fun and playful or elegant and sophisticated? The next step is brainstorming write down all your ideas related to the goal and vision. 

Lastly, organize these thoughts into sections on what will make up each page in the final product (e.g., header/footer, navigation).

What Is A Design Brief? 

A design brief is a document that you write to tell your designer what you want the final product to look like. It should include information about who your audience is, what the purpose of the product is, and why it’s important to you. You should also include any constraints on resources (time and budget) that might affect how much work can be done on this project.

Why Do I Need One?

A clear, well-written, and detailed design brief will help your designer create exactly what you want. Not only will they know what goes into making their work look great they’ll also have less room for error when they start doing their job!

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