Never underestimate the power of a good product design brief. It is the most important element to get right as it informs the entire process going forward. The brief doesn’t set out the technical details, it simply characterises the goals of the product and the overall vision. It should basically describe exactly what the product will be. In this post, we will give you our essential tips which will help you write the best product design brief.

Be on the Same Page
To get a product through the development process a team of project members must work together. For collaboration to work well all parties must be on the same page and understand the vision of the project and the steps agreed to get there. It should always be the design manager that is responsible for writing the brief but involving all members and keeping them informed is vital for its overall success.

Be Concise
Just because the document is important, it doesn’t mean it needs to be long. Keeping it short, simple and clear means that it is able to be used as it was intended; to inform the design process. A document that goes into endless background details or uses over-complicated language is not fit for purpose. 2 -3 pages is the perfect length for a product design brief.

Plot your Product’s Journey
The product brief is a practical document that acts as a map for the project which you can use to plot the journey to manufacturing. Investing your time at this stage of the project helps you to have clarity; this will serve you well going forward and prevent you from having to spend more money changing things further down the line.

Keep Project Management Separate
Project management goals focus on the short-term practical aspects of the process. A design brief should be strictly descriptive of the long-term intentions of the product. It is the document that will keep the project on the right course and ensure that it stays true to its original intentions. This is why it is the document that is best placed to be used right in the testing phase.

Define What the Product Will Do
The design brief is an outline of what the product will do, what are the goals? It is not an opportunity to explore the details or find solutions. For example, when it comes to materials, use the brief to explain the properties that the material should have, such as strong or lightweight. You do not need to suggest materials, that is the job of the design team.

Be Prepared to amend
The product brief is a working document and should be updated right throughout the project. There will be information that comes to light through the process that you won’t have access to at the beginning. To ensure that the brief stays relevant and practical it needs to be kept up to date. When you actually sit down to write the brief you will be able to recognise gaps in your knowledge, when you do don’t be afraid to highlight them and ask open questions within the brief that can be answered later on when you have the right data.

If you follow the advice above then the product design brief will provide informative and strong guidance as your product goes through the manufacturing and testing process. Be aware of its immense value. Products have failed because time wasn’t invested in the brief early on. Don’t let yours be one of them and give yourself the best chance of success with the best product design brief.

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