The product design brief

The cornerstone of successful product development

Every design project needs a detailed task formulation, because a concrete task is undoubtedly one of the foundations for successful product design. A project start without a design briefing is just like going on a journey without knowing what means of transport to use and which routes to take. Surely you will someday and somehow reach your destination, and maybe the journey would be quite exiting, but this approach will not be efficient and effective and would certainly be a lot more time and cost-intensive. Similar to a route plan, a design briefing outlines the routes, milestones and objective of the project. It also includes a description of the current state and the reasons for further development and improvement. It is also important that any existing market research results, the competitive environment, current industry trends and timelines are indicated.

It can be utilised as a communication and knowledge transfer instrument between the customer and the product design team. The briefing helps to build trust and understanding between the stakeholders and allows the customer to evaluate the planned project from different angles and gain a new perspective on it. Every design briefing has to be very well thought out and should provide a basic framework, but the focus should not only be the aesthetics and design of the product. This would be counterproductive, because the innovative strength of the appointed product design team should be utilised and they should be given enough creative freedom to realise their vison. One achieves the best results, if the resulting product design originates from a joint development process where all parties are involved.

List of the basic points that a design briefing should include:

  1. Starting point (actual state / description of the company)
  2. Motivation (What are the reasons for the new development):
  3. Objectives (What should be achieved with the design project):
  4. Target group definition (Who buys it and how / Who uses it how and where?)
  5. Evaluation tools (Which success factors are measured and how?)
  6. Product definition / technical specifications
  7. Production budget / timeline

We would be happy to send you a detailed briefing template.