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Andy Rutledge

An Ounce of Prevention

by Andy Rutledge on Oct 15, 2012

I recently asked designers on Twitter: What's an occasional problem/issue in projects that you wish would never happen? The responses I received were varied, but they all had one thing in common: the issues or their negative consequences are almost entirely preventable. By Andy Rutledge

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Jason Robb

Jason Robb | Oct 16, 2012 | 3:29pm

I'm curious about this part regarding the design brief:
"It should details things like the target audiences, perception/tone guidelines or standards, communication strategy, specific objectives, and maybe a primary message/goal (adjust to suit your context or that of the project). Use the standards and objectives in this brief to evaluate the suitability of the design strategy, ensuring it meets or fulfills every point."

I'm curious about how specific you get with your design briefs. Or rather, how/if you adjust the brief during in the project because you've learned something important while testing a design with customers.

I'm guessing you have certain protocol in place to allow adjusting the goals if customer feedback is pointing you towards a slightly different goal/number in your brief.

I bet you'll also tell me that if the discovery process is thorough and done right, there should be little need to adjust the goals/metrics in the brief later on.

—Jason R.

Andy Rutledge

Andy Rutledge | Oct 17, 2012 | 1:52pm

Jason, the strategy brief is and must be a fixed document. In addition to being the yardstick against which the initial design effort is measured, it is also the measure of what is different or additional work/scope as the project progresses. In other words, if it is requested and it conflicts with the client-approved strategy brief, it is new scope that must be accounted for separately with regard to time and cost.

Therefore, if the project is large enough so that the target evolves over time, new/separate addendum documents may be added to the mix. Each fixed for the same purpose as the fixed initial document. Hope that puts a finer point on things.

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