The basics to a good design brief – and our process

Beth French

Beth French

Completion of a comprehensive design brief is the starting point of a well-organised project. This document ensures that all stakeholders, team members and clients are in agreement of what success looks like, setting expectations from the start. It should be clear, concise and explain what the project entails.

Here at Blue Digital, we have a multi-step process that allows us to get the information needed from our clients in phases. Asking the right questions subconsciously pushes them to tap into their creative side, equating to lots of great ideas.


Step 1 Sales team take a basic project outline

Step 2 Debrief with the team before kick-off meeting

Step 3 Kick-off meeting

Step 4 Summary de-brief & scope

Phase 1

The sales team will start by noting down the basic project outline that sets the scene for phase 2. This will include:

  • Objective and outcomes of the project
  • The solution that will be uniquely created for the client
  • The required to carry out the work effectively
  • Project schedule overview

Phase 2

Phase 2 is pretty much, taking phase 1 and sharing with the team. Here at Blue Digital, we like to involve the right people, with the best skills for the job. The objective of the internal meeting is to:

  • Highlight any initial project risks to discuss with the client/ sales team.
  • Allow the team to go away and complete competitors/ client research beforehand, preparing selective questions to ask along the way.
  • Decide what data is needed to be captured from the client. (ie. Whiteboard activities, competitor evaluation).

Phase 3

In the kick-off meeting, each department is responsible for asking their own questions, focussing on taking their own mini brief that can be collated to create the project scope. This tends to be broken down as follows:

  • Development team: Integration required on the site, functionality and payment gateways (platform dependent).
  • Digital marketing team: Site structure and content
  • As for the design team: By using prompts, we start conversations. But leave them open for the client’s imagination to run wild. See our cheat sheet attached here

Phase 4

After the kick-off meeting, we hold a quick debrief meeting whilst the project is fresh in our mind to set internal expectations and review how the meeting went. After this, each department would finalise their notes and over to the projects team to put form the scope document a.k.a the project bible here at Blue Digital.