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A creative brief is like a foundation of a skyscraper. In this case "a skyscraper" is all design process steps...

A creative brief is like a foundation of a skyscraper. In this case "a skyscraper" is all design process steps and the final deliverables.

The brief works as a kind of guide that allows all team members to be on the same wavelength. And it also plays a key role in turning an idea from your dreams into something real. We believe that filling the brief is one of the main points that will ensure the success of the project in the future. 

Let's start with the goals, expectations, clear objectives, and key features

What are you looking for? We understand that at the beginning of the work it is sometimes difficult to see a whole set of tasks. And it's okay, you can't predict everything, and a lot of things going to appear while development.

But it is critical to set clear goals. First, it increases the probability that the deliverables match expectations. Secondly, it makes these deliverables achievable in general. After all, when they are not well formulated, the process of "improvement" can be eternal.

One more important thing is that the agency team chooses certain design solutions depending on the vision of the Client's business goals. Therefore, the number of edits and the speed of the process depend on how well the Client and the agency understand each other. And the brief is the first step in this communication.

"The same tasks can be solved in different ways, depending on the vision and mission of the Client's company. The same features can look different. Therefore, it is very important for us to get the maximum amount of information before starting. We must understand that we will create a truly valuable product" — ANODA Design Team Lead.

Tell us more about yourself

What does your company do? How did the idea of its creation come about? How long have you been on the market? Who are your main competitors? What successful companies inspire you? What do your brand ambassadors look like?

The more the agency team learns about the Client's experience, the better they understand the company's mission and values. Details that may seem insignificant at first sight will actually help you generate great ideas.

Let's talk about a target audience

We always work by the design process. One of its first stages is UX research, during which we conduct user interviews and research the target audience of the future app. Or we try to learn more about the users of an already existing platform, if the Client needs, for example, a redesign. But it is also important to discuss the Client's vision of the portrait of the product's target audience.

We are talking not only about demographic indicators, but also the details of the users' lifestyles. After all, if you guess their interests, the product will resonate with them much better. It is necessary to understand well for whom each message in the app will be written. What are their hobbies, what jobs do they choose, how do they relax, what brands do they like, how do they make important life decisions, etc.

For example, we need to create a new digital wallet from scratch. This could be an app for young people who appreciate stylish and simple interfaces, and truly like it when brands use humor in their tone of voice. Or it is a financial solution for middle-aged people who need to feel the formality of messages because it brings a "security vibe" like a classic bank. Depending on the audience, the team will choose completely different design options.

Examples work better

No matter how detailed you describe something, everyone visualizes it in their own way. This also applies to setting tasks for designers. Therefore, providing examples will be very helpful to find common ground. The Client can provide:

  • a link to a website /app whose design he likes (it is better to indicate what exactly he likes and why);
  • study cases from Behance/ Dribbble;
  • images associated with the product from Pinterest or Google Images;
  • relevant fonts, logos, icons, etc.

Things you don't like and important historical data

This step is no less important than the others because it shows what NOT to do in the design. It can be about the personal Client's wishes, or about things that have not worked well in the history of the company. Of course, everything is individual, but it can help to avoid a few changes in the future. And this significantly speeds up the complicated process.

Usually, each project has its own previous history. You may have worked with this product in the past, but something went wrong. Or have launched a similar project and had some important experience working with it. Please share this information as it can also help prevent a lot of mistakes.

step by step

Design
process

After the client fills out the brief and introduces us to their product, the design process begins. It consists of many important steps helping to achieve the best results.

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Strategic planning in the brief

We paid a lot of attention to expectations and the beginning of the story. But it is also important to talk about the future. For example, we should take into account the need to scale to other platforms or localize to other languages in the next years.

Thinking about the product plans for the future will give the agency team an understanding of where to lay the foundation for the next key features. This will give the ability to quickly make changes if necessary, or add other functionality.

Creative brief as a project management tool

A Project manager has many tools to set up all the processes in the team and reach a complete understanding with the Client. A creative brief can also be considered such a tool because it manages the Client's expectations.

It can also reduce the number of meetings between the agency and the Client teams, as it contains answers to a large number of frequently asked questions. It allows you to develop the overall conception of the product and plays an important role throughout the development process.

Believe us, you need to implement a creative brief in your project workflow.

Some tips for fintech startups / financial management software / financial systems

The market for fintech apps has been growing rapidly in recent years. We already have many projects in our portfolio for digital wallets with data visualization, banking apps, mobile payments solutions, etc. While working on these projects, we found several features that are important to consider when filling out the brief.

Banking is a highly regulated sector. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss firstly all legally required checkboxes, important features, and other interface elements, without which it will be impossible to work with the financial information and build trust with customers. This also applies to the amount of personal information that the user must provide in order to use the application.

Legal information should also be discussed before starting the project. Since such apps, open access to money accounts receivable, and other sensitive data, users should always read all the necessary copies before making a decision. Therefore, you should discuss with the agency team where and what should be written in compliance with all the rules of financial language.

Each country has its own unique financial information and banking rules. They should be taken into account at the stage when UX designers create the information architecture of the product. 

Business growth should also be considered. It is always better to create a foundation for future product improvements. If you plan to enter new markets in the next years, there will be no need to make too many design changes and pass time-consuming workflow one more time.

Key Takeaways

Each company develops a creative brief in accordance with its design process and the way they manage the project. It is a measure of the agency's values ​​and approaches to development — whether they want to create a product that exceeds expectations and solves business needs, or simply accomplish a few tasks.

When it comes to the brief, there is never too much information. After all, every detail can help to come up with some very important ideas that will become a key feature and make users happier. So book in your schedule more time to fill out the brief.

Of course, in the process of working on the project, the team may have certain questions. And that's absolutely okay. But the brief will definitely provide answers to most of the questions that the team usually has before the start of cooperation.

  • A creative brief is a document that provides maximum information about a product and its goals. 
  • It should tell more about the company's main activity, mission values, competitors, target audience, pains and problems the product solves, and its business model.
  • This is a very useful tool that helps to improve the whole project workflow.
  • It helps to understand the Client’s taste and provides designers with the necessary details.
  • It is valuable both for the Client and the agency team.

Understanding
of users improves

interface
solutions

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ui design

3 styles

3 visions

At the beginning of the UI Stage, we give the client 3 visual solutions based on the moodboard. It helps to understand more precisely what the client wants

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Mobile and web app design process

Difficult goals are achievable when you have a clear plan to reach them. The same applies to the work of the design team on a new project. Today we want to talk more about the Design process. It helps to structure a large scope of tasks, notice all important details, and achieve great results.

Why is it so important
to fill the brief?

All incredible projects start with a well-filled brief. It allows an agency team to better understand the client's wishes and goals, direct creativity in the right direction, and reduce the number of comments in the future. A brief should introduce the company's mission and values, general brand vibe, and its unique features.

This will allow the creative team
to achieve good results faster.Yes, it takes some time to complete the brief, but it's worth it. Here are some tips on how
to fill the brief:

1.

Feel free to write a lot

The more input we receive, the better the result of the project. Every detail is important because it helps to create the overall vision of the product. It will also reduce the amount of communication between the agency team and the client. Answers to most questions can be quickly found in the brief.

2.

Give examples and explain your ideas.

It is always easier to show something than to describe it in words. So providing design examples is another step in helping designers to find solutions
to respond to clients' needs. Also, in the case of creative work, it is always important to understand the general idea of ​​the product. So the client can get the final deliverables that will even exceed expectations with fresh decisions.

Providing examples will help to avoid misunderstandings in the communication between the client and the designer. Both of them may have a completely different vision of the same things. Examples usually solve this problem. You can attach some links to any websites/apps with the visual design you like, moodboards, or random pictures from Pinterest.

3.

Purpose, expectations, clear objectives.

To achieve the goal, it must first be well formulated. Therefore, it is always necessary to start with a clear definition of goals and expectations. Brief acts as a roadmap, which outlines all the steps from the beginning of the project
to its completion.

UX research

Usually, the first step in creating a new successful product is good UX research. A deep understanding of your target audience's lifestyle will allow you to create the best possible user experience in the future. There are various methodologies that can provide the necessary knowledge.

Competitive research

Competitive research helps to collect information about rivals. By finding the strengths and weaknesses of the products that provide features similar to your project, you can create a unique proposition on the market and use the best decisions in the niche.

User interviews

User interviews are a tool that can help you to get an in-depth knowledge of users' goals, experiences, and pains. This will help create a quality product that thousands of people will want to use.

A better understanding of your potential users can help you not only add all the necessary features to the app, but also find accurate interface solutions. After conducting the interview, we analyze its results and find out important customer insights.

User persona

Customer portrait helps to make design decisions and develop features for your product. After creating the customer portrait, we can meet the user’s needs and expectations in the interface solutions more accurately.

Design

After we receive data from the research, we can proceed to the next stage: building a user flow and preparing wareframes - rough sketches of the future product, the task of which is to show the functionality.

User journey map

A user flow diagram is a step-by-step visual map, outlining the interaction between the product and the user. It shows the user steps to complete certain goals in the app. For example, what he is doing to purchase log-in. At this stage, we need from the Client's side a list of functions and content that should be in the product.

Wireframes

One of the earliest stages in a design process is wireframing. This tool helps to design a website service at the structural level. It contains all interface elements but in a sketch-like style. You can review the structure of the key pages and leave comments. After approval, the designer confidently moves forward.

First clickable prototype

You can click on wireframes to move through the user flow. It helps to check one more time the basic logic and structure of the app.

Moodboards

A moodboard is a digital collage that contains pictures, palettes, and different design elements in one style. It is useful not only as an inspiration for a designer but also as a tool to understand the Client's vision of the product.

The Client sends us a few examples of apps, sites, or anything else he likes. Based on them, we create the moodboard, reflecting the style of the future product. This helps to ensure that the design team and the Client are all on the same page while working on the project.

Typography & Colors

All the details are very important. Therefore, one of the first stages of work with a new project is to choose the font and color palette for it. They should convey the overall mood of the product and deliver specific messages about the brand.

Designing typography for the project is an art. Skilled and experienced designers can set a consistent tone of the interface while finding the perfect style of typography.

UI Design

At this stage, we prepare three visual style options for the future product in Figma. Usually, our design team creates a signup screen, a home screen, and a user profile screen. These pages contain like 90% of all UI elements (labels, buttons, icons, etc.) you are going to see in the whole project. The Client can choose a certain style and leave comments
to improve it.

After approval, we move to the next steps. Our team creates the design for all screens of the product and sends it for the Client's final review.

UI Kit components

User interface kits are a set of files that contains critical UI components. The main advantage of this tool is that in the future you will be able to easily modify and update your design, saving time and money.

Tailored Design for
Ambitious Ideas

This is how a well-defined design process helps to transform the ambitious idea into a real user-friendly application. Also, we want to notice, that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for all startups. Our team is very flexible and works on each project taking into account its uniqueness.