Simplifying the briefing definition — Brief it

Introduction

UX/UI design and UX Writing for a website/tool creation that helps ux/ui freelance designers to efficiently obtain the client’s briefing.

Objective

I thought, what better than investigate the professional sector I’m willing to get into? Seing the day to day reality of a ux ui professional and trying to find the pain points to improve them.

The objective was to create a tool that would make it easier for designers to achieve success in the development of ux ui projects.

And after the research, this would be possible through an effective method to obtain their client’s briefing.
That would allow them to ensure they obtain all the necessary information to be aligned with the client and his/her needs.

Designer-client
communication
is not efficient.

Designers need an effective method to get the briefing.

Freelance designers often develop their projects from start to finish
on their own.

Communication with the client must be fluid and very clear. Otherways, it results in a misinterpretation of the client’s problems and needs, which leads to a wrong approach to the project, and as a final result a dissatisfied client and a waste of time.

Obtaining
the briefing
currently.

Used methods to obtain the briefing

  • Designers who after a first contact with the client, sends him/her a form asking for a series of information.
    Pain points: the client is given too much freedom to fill it, easily will skip relevant information.
  • Or creating a briefing file with a series of questions that they develop with the client through conversation in the meeting.
    Pain points: difficult to delve into the relevant topics.
    Easily overlook information.
Designer-client meeting to define the project briefing.

UX.

After conducting a competitive analysis, surveys (90) and interviews (13), we get down to work.

Customer insights

55%

of designers says that communication with the client is not effective.

80%

say that the most recurrent problem during the project development is not having a well-defined briefing.

50%

therefore they fail to align with the client and their needs.

“Sometimes the briefing doesn’t have all the necessary information,
and it appears when the project is delivered”

The defined user personas “freelance ux ui designer” and “the client”.

Working
process.

After bringing down all the research and conducting concept testings, the idea was to create a tool to facilitate the 3 aspects that caused the most problems in the projects development:

  • Obtaining the briefing.
  • Monitoring the evolution of the project by the client.
  • Communication as the project progresses (doubts, changes of ideas, problems, etc.).

But with the project progress and the definition of the MVP (minimum viable product), I focused on solving the problem that most designers related to projects failure, obtaining the briefing.

In addition, compared to the other two problems,
there are very few digital tools with the aim of collecting the briefing information, and much less aimed at the ux/ui sector.

App or
desktop?

This was a dilemma that now it seems obvious, but it was not easy to decide…

App

Pros:

  • Filling it in could be more groundbreaking with the traditional method.
  • It allowed to access from anywhere and at any time.
  • For the functions of “Project monitoring” and “Fluent communication” it had more advantages, since you would always have it at hand.

Cons:

  • Arriving at the meeting empty-handed. It does not cause a serious image.
  • It strays too far from the current method.
  • It is not feasible to collect responses by writing.

Desktop

Pros:

  • The computer is the designer’s main work tool.
  • Currently the method of obtaining the brief is often with the computer.
  • Allows you to record the entire meeting.
  • It is more comfortable to write on the computer than on the mobile.

Cons:

  • It does not allow to access from anywhere.

Definetly, the MVP would be a desktop platform.

Information
arquitecture.

The concept testing also helped me to figure out which had to be the steps order of creating a project, and setting up the briefing.

UI.

Taking into account the previously defined attributes, I collected a series of references that communicated what I was looking for, but most of them made a lot of use of black and vivid and vibrant colors. What didn’t work with the platform considering that it was going to be a working tool.

Even with the density of the content that it would have, it should have a calm aesthetic, and avoid heavily loaded screens or generating stress.

Aesthetic referents, color palette and typeface used.

Creating
a project.

Brief according to the type of project

The goal was to make it as easy as possible for the designer to create her project’s briefing.

So the first steps would be applying a couple of filters to narrow down the type of information she would need. As the kind of project is gonna be developed (ux, ux & ui, ui …). And choosing a briefing template with some predefined information.

Natigation (project creation)

Easy, fast
and personalized.

Briefing setup

It had to be intuitive and fast to configurate the briefing. And above all, it had to ensure the designer would obtain all the information needed.

The biggest challenge I faced throughout this project was the operation of the screen during the briefing configuration.
It had to show on the same screen all the information that needed to be seen simultaneously, but changing the focus of the importance according to whether the user was editing the predefined content of the briefing, or if she was looking for new modules and exercises to add.

After several versions, the solution was to divide the screen into 3 modules that acts dynamically. So that they were made big or small according to what the user wanted to do at every moment.

Natigation (briefing configuration)

Dynamic
and Effective.

To fill in with the client

Once the briefing is set up, the meeting day with the client arrives. And what better way to fill it in than together during the meeting?
It would work both ways, in remote and in person. They only need to have one computer each.

  • The designer can share the screen with the client to confirm that the information collected through the conversation is correct.
  • Collaborative exercises, as a “workshop”. (Allowing to go deeper into information such as the user and competitors).

Natigation (filling in together)

  • Once the meeting is over. When the designer has reviewed and completed the brief, it can be sent to the client so they can discuss the information and make sure they are aligned.

Usability
testing.

Once the platform was set, I conducted 7 usability tests. Which helped me detecting some points that currently are not working or that need to be developed.

  1. Some couldn’t imagine how would work the “module finder”.
  2. Some would like to be able to “take personal notes” while developing the exercises.
  3. Most of them would like to be able to “manage their estimates and invoices” through the platform.
  4. Some asked about what would it bring to them the “premium plan”. As it is the most clear way to monetize the platform.
1. “Module finder. 2. “Notes taking”.
3. “Estimates and invoices”. 4. “Premium plan”.

Final
takeaway.

The first point I learned is the importance of being very clear about the scenario in which the platform will be used before start sketching or developing the idea.
In this case it would have saved me a lot of time that I spent developing the idea for mobile.

Starting with a not very greedy MVP also helps a lot to invest the time in the right direction.

With this project I learned many things on the personal and professional level. To trust the process, to forcefully improve my interview skills (interviewing ux ui professionals). It has allowed me to see the profession reality more closely.

And how could it be otherwise, the importance of having a fluent communication, and starting from a well-defined briefing!

Thank you for reading, I hope you found it interesting!
Any comments or advice will be so welcomed!

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An industrial designer in love with creativity, nature and the keeping learning.

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Guillem Eiriz Alonso

Guillem Eiriz Alonso

An industrial designer in love with creativity, nature and the keeping learning.

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