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Has any of your clients hired you to deliver one or more UX projects? If they have, you would need all the help you can get to deliver a superb job. You will need a team to help you. Harness the knowledge of everyone in the team that you are working with. In this manner, you can get more understanding and give a better understanding of the project.

On top of that, you will need different tools. One such tool is the UX brief. It differs from traditional briefs in that it doesn’t focus solely on articulating or clarifying project expectations. It also acts as a reference for aligning everybody and everything to the projected goals and outcomes. It is almost as though, you have to remind everyone on the vision itself. Focus on the inspiration behind starting the project in the first place. Your aim here is to focus them on the objectives and not to provide solutions.

Image Credits: uxplanet.org

How does the brief accomplish all that?

1. Rallies everybody around the vision

As a freelancer, you don’t own the vision. The clients own the vision regarding the ending they would love for the project. Your job is to deliver that ending or result. Meaning your UX brief must start by understanding the client’s desired ending. What are the demands that the client wants to fulfill in the market? Having this understanding will not only make it easier to create quality UX brief but will work towards bringing the team on the same page. However, ensure that in your pursuit to keep the vision alive, remember that the vision and everything it entails is not yours.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t deny you the chance of rallying everybody around the client’s vision. In fact, part of your job involves reminding clients what their original vision was. Somewhere along the line, people may tend to get lost on what the project is about. Too many new ideas may cloud the project making them more of huddles than blessings. The brief can be a powerful tool in that regard. It helps to keep everybody in check so that nobody gets off track.

The UX brief has to include the “why” of the project! It is important to keep the focus on why the project was initiated in the first place. Your job is to make it stick to everyone’s mind to ensure the achievement of the vision.

Simplicity is key here. You don’t want to write something that instead of making things simple ends up confusing the client, your team and your potential end-users.

2. Covers the “what” and the “where”

Here, the “what” and the “where” simply refer to the requirements of the project. As the freelancer, it’s upon you to ask clients for more information regarding the requirements of the project. The more you understand about the project, the higher the chances of delivering something that astounds the client!

Remember, that in as much as the vision does not belong to you, it is still important to prove you are part of the team. 

The UX brief can help you establish trust by showing the client you understand their vision. Understanding means you can deliver and that is what the client is looking for. The client should help you to understand the project very well. Ask questions to get as much information as possible on the background of what you are about to put your effort in. 

The requirements are usually high-level. They offer the entire team a starting point. You can address this issue in various ways in the UX brief, such as:

  • Are we creating a native or mobile-responsive app?
  • Will the app feature user-generated content or live chat?
  • How will users find out about the app?
  • Is there any major difference from other similar apps?
  • What is the budget for the project?

3. Covering the “how” of the project

A well-written brief also delves into the “how” of the project. Here, it mostly deals with design principles. For this reason, the brief has to contain a short list of the design principles that the freelancer’s entire team will abide by. The principles should never change for the duration of the project.

UX brief is an ever-changing field and freelancers in this field may have a hard time keeping up with these changes.

To keep abreast of these changes, it’s paramount that you ensure that your entire team is fully equipped with the basic design principles. These core principles will lead as a guide to your team all through the project independent of the many changes that take place around. In tackling this issue, the focus should be on putting yourself in the end users’ shoes and seeing how the product will benefit them. Having this in mind, you need to have a means of testing the success of UX Brief.

Therefore, as a freelancer, it is important to remind your team the need for operating around the project having the end-user in mind. The best way to go about this is to have a heads up on the type of questions that the end-users might have regarding the use of the product. Forethought is key to ensure that you won’t be spending time answering similar questions from users.

Don’t forget that it is you are to provide everyone in the team with their scope of practice. Simply put, everyone needs to know what they are expected to do and what is not in their job description. 

4. List the “who” of the project

How many stakeholders are part of the UX project? The freelancer has to know members of the entire team. The purpose of creating this list is to keep everybody on their toes with constant reminders so that nobody deviates from the overall goal or intention. Many freelancers discover that members of their UX design teams are involved in other projects thus unable to commit fully to the current one. With the UX brief and the list of stakeholders, you’ll avoid that.

This list is not only limited to the stakeholders, but you should put in the UX Brief everyone that is working on the project. This may include other agencies that are involved in the project.

Image Credits: slideshare.net

5. Talking about the “when”

A good brief should also address the issue of time. Here, the focus tends to be more on the issue of deadlines and commencement day. As the freelancer, you need to put down important timelines that must be followed. When the client has certain dates that they would want to beat, you have to ensure that your team is well aware. For example, the project may be aiming at sales during an upcoming holiday or data for an upcoming election year.

Freelance UX designers can only address this issue in-depth when they take time to know the end user. The more information you have of the users, the easier it will be for you to start and finish the project on time. Otherwise, you may spend eternity trying to solve something that is quite simple and straightforward.

Therefore, you now have all the reasons for using UX brief to make your freelancing skills hard to ignore. Clients can now pass other designers and seek you to solve their needs or take care of their UX design projects. Make sure the brief covers all the basics, as shown here. Do not leave anything out. With this in mind, embrace the brief and use it to drive your freelancing operations to the next level.

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