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How to Make Product Design Project: Brief Template with Essential Tools and Basic Questions

Background & Overview

Product design is the process of creating and improving things that solve problems or meet market needs. It's all about understanding the people who will use the product and using that knowledge to make something that truly helps them.

There are different types of product design, and here are six common ones:

  1. Original Product Design: This is where a completely new and inventive idea is turned into a final product. It often challenges established ways of doing things and can bring about new technologies.
  2. System Design: Think of a store layout – it's a system design. It's about organizing things logically so that customers can find what they need easily. The designer considers both what the customer wants and what the store wants to achieve.
  3. Adaptive Product Design: This happens when a known solution is changed to meet a new requirement. The main idea stays the same, but the way it's applied is adjusted to solve new problems.
  4. Engineering Design/Variant Design: This is about improving an existing design, maybe to fix a problem or make it cheaper to produce. It might not change the main idea but could adjust certain aspects.
  5. Interface Design: This is all about how the product looks and feels. It's about making the interaction between the user and the product easy and enjoyable. Think of the design of an ATM – it needs to be simple and understandable for users.
  6. Process Design: This is crucial for things like online shopping or navigating an airport. It's about creating smooth processes, making sure everything works well together. For example, an airport has many processes like check-in, security, and customs that need to flow seamlessly.

In product design, it's important to know your audience, understand their preferences, and keep up with trends. Balancing innovation with familiarity is key – being too revolutionary might alienate users. Ultimately, the goal is to create products that are not just visually appealing but also easy and satisfying to use.

When starting a new product design project, it's important to have a clear and concise design brief to guide the team towards a successful outcome. The first step is to create a title for the brief that gives an overview of the project and its purpose.
Provide a brief summary of the project, why it's important and the overall goal of the design. Ask team members to provide feedback on the current design, what is working well and what needs improvement.
When it comes to product design, there are two main options: using free templates or designing from scratch. Using free templates can be a cost-effective option, but it has its limitations in terms of customization. On the other hand, designing from scratch allows for a more tailored design that aligns with your business and brand, but it can be more expensive.
It's also important to consider any existing brand guidelines, such as specific color palettes or typefaces that need to be used. Adhering to brand guidelines will ensure that the final design aligns with the company's overall branding and messaging.

Product Design Project Brief Example

This template provides a structured format for outlining the key aspects of a product design project, including its goals, target audience, design requirements, technical specifications, and testing procedures.

Section Description
Project Name [Your project name]
Project Description [Brief description of the project goals and main functionality of the product design]
Target Audience [Description of the target audience, including demographics, needs, and preferences]
Design Requirements [Description of the design requirements, including aesthetics, ergonomics, and user experience considerations]
Technical Specifications
  • Materials: [e.g., plastic, metal, wood]
  • Dimensions: [e.g., length, width, height]
  • Components: [e.g., electronics, mechanisms]
  • Manufacturing Process: [e.g., injection molding, CNC machining]
Testing Procedures
  • Prototype Testing: Evaluate functionality, usability, and durability of prototypes.
  • User Testing: Gather feedback from target users to improve design.
  • Compliance Testing: Ensure compliance with relevant regulations and standards.
Timeline [Proposed timeline for different stages of the project, including design, prototyping, testing, and production]
Budget [Estimated budget for design, prototyping, testing, and production]

Goals and Objectives in Product Design

1. User-Centricity:

Goal: Prioritize the needs and preferences of end-users.


  • Conduct thorough user research to understand target audiences.
  • Create user personas to represent the diverse user base.
  • Develop products that enhance the overall user experience.

2. Problem Solving:

Goal: Address specific challenges or pain points in the market.


  • Identify and analyze problems through market research.
  • Brainstorm innovative solutions to meet user needs.
  • Create designs that effectively solve identified problems.

3. Aesthetics and Appeal:

Goal: Ensure visually pleasing and attractive product designs.


  • Integrate aesthetic elements that resonate with the target audience.
  • Maintain brand consistency in visual design.
  • Use colors, shapes, and typography to enhance overall appeal.

4. Functionality and Usability:

Goal: Develop products that are intuitive and easy to use.


  • Conduct usability testing to identify potential issues.
  • Prioritize features that enhance product functionality.
  • Optimize user interfaces for seamless interactions.

5. Innovation:

Goal: Introduce new and creative solutions to the market.


  • Stay informed about industry trends and emerging technologies.
  • Foster a culture of creativity and idea generation within the design team.
  • Implement novel features or design approaches.

6. Sustainability:

Goal: Create products with minimal environmental impact.


  • Explore eco-friendly materials and production processes.
  • Design products with a focus on longevity and recyclability.
  • Consider the entire product lifecycle in the design process.

7. Market Viability:

Goal: Ensure that the designed product aligns with market demands.


  • Conduct market analysis to identify trends and competition.
  • Validate the product concept through surveys or prototypes.
  • Align design decisions with the target market's preferences.

8. Cost-Effectiveness:

Goal: Develop products within budget constraints.


  • Collaborate with the manufacturing team to optimize production costs.
  • Explore cost-effective materials without compromising quality.
  • Conduct value engineering to maximize cost efficiency.

Why are you putting this together? You want to specify the precise business need and the goal of the work at this point in your creative brief. What constitutes success for this specific body of work? Make sure your goals are measurable when you write them down. You'll want to review them at the project's conclusion to determine if your goals have been reached.
What results from this? What do you hope to accomplish? Depending on the project's size, nature, and the time and resources you have available, the project's physical output will differ. It's possible that the result is only a notion, a prototype, or a completely functional system.

Up front clarity regarding the deliverables will help to prevent confusion later on. It should not specify the specifics of the problem or the shape that the solution will take, but it should contain some general things like:

  • Research findings
  • Design concepts
  • A product design specification

List of popular programs for setting goals and objectives:


Your product design brief should always put the end user—not the client—at its core.

This strategy has the flaw of missing the point about who the users are. Their requirements and how they aren't being satisfied by current solutions aren't explained. It is really a wish list of business needs, not necessarily what the customer want. This strategy runs the danger of producing a result that is identical to the current one.

  • Who use your services?
  • What needs do they have?
  • How are their needs being satisfied right now?

Think about their age, gender, place of residence, and level of income. Are they wed or not? Drive a car? How are their mobility and health? Are they engaged? How frequently will they utilize this product, and where? What will they do with it—play or work?
When the issue is presented with this type of inquiries, what chances are there to offer users a better solution?

Determine User Problem

Describe the issues that need to be resolved, but do not specify solutions. Early on defining certain characteristics or objectives can be quite restrictive to creativity and impede later study and ideation from leading to better ideas.
What issues do we need to address for our users now that we've discovered them? Design should always be about the end user, so strive to frame them in the center of your brief rather than the commercial drivers, which are all too frequently the driving force behind design briefs. The time to think about business will come when you are writing your product design specification.
It is also important to keep in mind that a product is more likely to solve all of the problems it attempts to tackle well the fewer problems it attempts to solve.

We all have ideas for solutions to problems the moment we are presented with them, and it is simple to write those ideas into a product design brief, thereby preventing most of a project's revolutionary potential. However, you will receive the most creative juice from your design team if you instead explicitly outline an issue that needs to be solved and why it matters to a certain group of individuals.
Should is the word that appears the most frequently in product design briefs. This or that should be true about the product. The term "should" is appropriate since it emphasizes that the outcome at this early stage of the project is still subject to change.


Describe your new design's appearance, the impression it should leave on users, and any brand or style standards you think are crucial to upholding.

The following information should be covered in this paragraph:

  • Design examples you like, along with a brief description of the features you seek;
  • Your company's logo, colors, photos, and icons.
Set forth clear "don'ts" and notify the designer of the fashion cues you prefer not to use into your new design.
You shouldn't assume that the designer will use your submitted ideas exactly. These concepts are all that's required to get them started on developing an original style and creative design for your goods.

The best service with style inspiration:

Additional Aspects to Consider

In the brief description of a product design project, it's important to consider the following aspects:

  • Budget: Define the project budget and financial constraints.
  • Timeframes: Specify the project timeline and key milestones.
  • Communication: Identify communication channels and feedback mechanisms for effective collaboration.
  • Risks and Issues: Identify potential risks and issues that may arise during the project and propose strategies and plans for resolution.


Crafting an effective brief for a product design project is a crucial step in creating a successful product. Defining the problem, describing users, setting requirements, inspiring design, collaborating with stakeholders, and updating the description all contribute to creating a clear, concise, and comprehensive overview for your project. Don't forget to consider additional aspects such as budget, timeframes, communication, and risks. Use these tips and the provided template for a project description to make your next product design project a success.

Edward Chechique

Product designer

Product designer (UX/UI), Design thinking workshops moderator, and young designers mentora

Download product design project brief template

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