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Building a Better Vision: How to Write a Product Design Brief

Learning how to write a product design brief will save you a lot of back and forth. Clarity at this stage of the design process will prove invaluable further down the line, helping to avoid costly mistakes and errors and ensure you are on the right path with your project from beginning to end. When it comes to how to write a product design brief, there are several questions you need to be asking yourself to refine your ideas into clear, concise points.

A great product design brief will save development time, reduce costs, and mitigate risk, clarifying the requirements, plan, timeframes, and goals while providing verification and validation at every stage of development to meet quality standards. In short, it prevents miscommunication in the long run.

How to write a product design brief: seven questions to ask yourself

If you are collecting thoughts, concepts and information that make a new product idea into a cohesive product design brief, you need to ask yourself some clarifying questions. In this article, we have collated seven questions to help you build the kind of concise, clear product design brief you need.

What is the product?

Introduce your product. Describe it clearly and concisely, making it clear what it is and does. Summarise your product, and think of it in terms of its features and your competition. It is important at this stage to clearly define what your product does differently from your competitors and how your project achieves this.

What are your objectives and goals?

Explore the real-world need for your product, what problem you have solved in creating it, and how it will work in situ. Is it a new idea or a re-design of an existing product? What stage of the design process are you at? Have you looked at competitors’ offerings? Your Product Design Specification should take into consideration the starting point of your design, whether a new design or modification to an existing project. Consider detailing how your product improves on your competitors.

What is your target market?

Clearly state and explore the needs and issues of the end user of your product. In order to deliver your product to the appropriate audience, you must first identify who they are. Bear in mind that the audience and the buyer might be different people, have different financial targets and use the product in different ways. With more detail, more accurate user stories can be created which will directly increase your chance of success.

What are the technical and material requirements of your product?

Does it need to be lightweight? Will it need to be waterproof? Instead of saying, ‘I want it to be made of steel’, consider that it needs to be strong. By identifying specific materials at this stage, you could unwittingly rule out potentially innovative material and design approaches that could be superior.

What are the manufacturing requirements?

There are lots of elements that go into thinking about manufacturing requirements. Manufacturing might seem a far-off prospect to discuss at this stage, but it pays to be prepared, so factors like quantity and country of the manufacturer are crucial things to think of even at this stage.

What are your budget and timescales?

Everyone along the way, from the designer to the manufacturer, needs to know the budget and timescales. This is an essential part of communication and understanding that must be established early in the project.

Are there any updates?

Lastly, you need to make regular updates to the design brief. This is not a static document, if you need to make amendments, make them, and make sure everyone knows them and has access to a completely up-to-date version.

Work with us

When it comes to how to write a product design brief, the keyword is clarity. Design briefs are all about communication, ensuring that everyone, at every stage of the process, fully understands the project. Without this, unnecessary problems can occur, so always strive for clarity.

You can build a design brief from a matter of bullet points and responses to each question you have considered. From there, you can refine and clarify until it is concise, clear and explicit throughout, outlining every stage of the project and setting you up for a smooth, straightforward development process. Simple, right? That is how to write a product design brief.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about creating a product design brief that ticks every box.