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The Brief

The Brief
The first steps of any project require an understanding that conceptual thinking and design theory are one thing, but honing the brief and structure is fundamental to the inception of a succesful project. Unlocking the potential is the key.

For a full brief for a large scale project, consider answering the following questions:


What is the purpose of the brief?

Commercial Objectives

What are the commercial objectives?

How will the project will be measured?

What are the targets required?

Timescales & Budget

What are the deadlines for the work described in the brief and how much budget is allocated for the work.

How the proposition works

Short description of the business proposition that this brief is addressing if applicable. More detail can be included in the background section of the brief.

Experience objectives

What are the desired experience objectives?

What assumptions have been made?

List any business, technical or customer experience assumptions that have been made. This should include any hypotheses about solutions as these may need to be validated in the course of the brief.


List of dependencies that will influence the successful outcome of success measures for the brief.


What is the full scope of the project?


Relevant background info from the business that can help a supplier understand the brief better.

Why the proposition is being introduced

Description of why and how this proposition is being introduced.

Key stakeholders

List out the key business stakeholders that will need to be consulted and kept informed during the course of the project.

Customer insights

Provide any relevant customer insights relating to the target audience, to help the supplier understand more about them. Any relevant statistics about share of particular segments, behaviours, needs and motivations is especially useful.

Product insights

Any insight directly related to the product itself, for example key mechanisms for how it works or information about the value proposition, e.g. how the revenue model, how it delivers value to customers, detailed information on how the product works.

Brand insights

How does this proposition relate to the brand? Does it directly map to brand principles? Are there hypotheses about how it could/should?

Experience insights

Any insight derived from existing experiences and journeys such as traffic, success measures and customer feedback. Also provide hypotheses about delivering against experience principles.


What research is currently available?


Provide a list of key analytics data that is relevant to the proposition


Is there available market insight such as size, share, value, segment share?

Hints and tips

  • Don’t describe solutions – these should be open to development and evolution. Instead provide examples and inspirations, or assumptions where it’s clear that existing thinking/development will influence the execution.
  • Don’t define methods – provide examples of methods you have found useful or inspiring but leave room for the expertise and experience of the team to deliver the best result
  • Try to avoid conflicting criteria – e.g. “we want it to be fast but scalable.”. The best briefs provide a clear set of constraints in which the creative process can deliver innovation. Unclear criteria lead to delays whilst definitions are agreed on.

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