This should not be the case for well-organized projects. Experienced freelance designers and clients know that well-executed design briefs play a significant role in the success of their projects, and so the importance of one should not to be underestimated.
This article is dedicated to shedding light on what a design brief is, how to write a design brief, and questions to ask in a design brief to make it an effective one.
A design brief is a document that provides designers with guidance. The document focuses on the results and outcomes of a design by providing insight on important considerations and constraints likely to be experienced. These are prepared in consultation with the client.
It goes without saying; a good design starts with the creation of a design brief. Such a brief should be the point of reference throughout a project to ensure clear steps to tackle any design problem that may ensue.
It should be noted that design briefs are essential for almost all design-based projects. Design briefs are not only used for web design business, but they have also been proven to be useful in an array of design fields. Take for example the fields of architecture and engineering.
The design is a critical aspect of architecture, especially when looking to solve architectural problems. In this field, design briefs are core elements in beginning the design process. The needs of the client are vital in the preparation of these briefs, thus confirming the essence of actively consulting the client. The more information that can be obtained from the client early on in the design process the more effective future problem-solving will be.
Engineers use engineering design to identifying and solve engineering-based problems. Engineering design is a process during which a design brief should be used to shed light on the objectives of a particular design.
Engineers typically aren’t skillful designers so having a design brief to guide them is crucial to making sure the product they’re designing fits the client’s expectations.
Now that we covered what a design brief is, one may then ask, how do I go about writing a design brief? Or, what are the vital features that should be include in a design brief?
It is essential to consider these key elements if you want to craft a good design brief. It's also worth keeping in mind that a freelance contract can back you up in case anything goes south.
The client should outline what he/she intends to create from the new design. The goals set must be clear enough to ensure the new design that will be based around satisfying the client’s needs.
Though a sensitive subject, knowing or creating the budget in advance will help in tailoring one’s services to offer the most value for the client’s money. As a designer, you should watch out for resistance on this one because many clients tend to think that sharing the budget ahead of time will only attract unnecessary overcharging.
A word of advice: being realistic when consulting about the budget with the client is necessary. Stingy clients tend to be the ones that ask the most questions and make the most demands. Sometimes it won’t be worth your time and energy working with a client trying to get an inexpensive design.
The design brief should emphasize on a schedule that is flexible for both the client and the designer. Important deadlines and key milestones should be clearly set. Similar to the budget, the schedule of the process design must be as realistic as possible, and close to what you covered in your freelance proposal.
This should entail information on what the project design will cover. For instance, this may include the design of an e-commerce site plus a shopping catalog, or a brochure website with company information or a new portal for educational purposes.
Asking your client about the possibility of integrating social networks and blogs can also assist in planning the design for a website.
Who are your clients aiming to reach? This is an important query to ask. The reason for this is simple, a website designed for youths or fashionable and trendy teens is expected to be different from that aimed at reaching serious corporate decision-makers and CEOs.
Knowledge of this from the beginning is crucial to a successful design.
Knowing the promotional tools currently at the disposal of your clients will inspire your knowledge of what your clients prefer, as well as gain insight into their taste and priorities.
Some enlightenment of your client's vision is necessary for design solutions. Your client should share some thoughts of what they like and what they also don't like. This will give you a glimpse into what they expect in the overall look of the final design.
If your client provides you with a few design examples and what they like or dislike about them before commencing with the design process then it can result in a more pleasing result for the client in the end.
You can also refer to the examples the client showed you if they have any arguments about how your final design turned out compared to their expectations.
This will eliminate wasting time on creating designs that will be rejected by the client. Careful consulting with the client is necessary on this one.
In essence, a good design brief should inspire and challenge a freelance designer to produce great work.
If you want to simplify your design brief writing process, consider the help of Bonsai's all-in-one freelance suite for building stellar design briefs and proposals. Sign up for your free trial today!
Design briefs help both the designer and client achieve their goals by mutually agreeing on a set of points. If you want to master how you write design briefs, consider the following:
Going by the information outlined above, the following items should be included in your creative brief before progressing with the design process:
A design brief is an essential document that guides the course of project design in vital design fields (environmental design, web/graphic design/communication, architecture, product design, fashion design, architecture, interior design, jewelry design, engineering and so on).
The questions in your design brief and their answers can be used as a blueprint containing everything that is instrumental to successful project execution. It should provide an easy reference for the project design throughout the project’s timeline.
When a design brief is well put together it will provide guidance about what will be considered a successful design. It allows designers to stay on track and prevent the client from asking for things that are outside of the specified scope of the design. A design brief keeps clients and designers on the same page and helps resolve arguments before they ever happen.
Now that you know how to write a design brief don’t forget to use one on your next design project - with the help of Bonsai you can put together one to impress. Sign up for your free trial today! If you're interested in invoices, check out our graphic design invoice template.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?