Design Brief Worksheet Template

Using a properly thought out Design Spec can help you find better clients, clients with more money to spend and better, more interesting projects.

Prompted by a regular stream of Reverb Studios clients over the years who weren’t quite sure what they wanted in a new website or other design project and in response to me asking them for more guidance just pointed to a competitors website, or worst still a very long list of totally different competitor websites, and expected me to take it from there, I recently decided to do some research on how best to extract the maximum amount of detailed information from a client before starting any new design project.

The benefits to this are as follows as I see it:

  • You can avoid that initial, face-to-face, time (and money) sapping meeting with a client where no one is really prepared or knows what they want or what needs doing.
  • You get to see if a client is a good fit for you and your services and vice versa, whether the client can actually be served by you at all.
  • You get an idea of how serious and defined a client is about their business and their business goals. Asking them to sit down and think about their business and goals is something of value to them if they havn’t done it before.
  • By asking them for their budget, you separate the kind of clients who want something for nothing or everything in the world for very little investment from those who are prepared to put their money where their mouths are and get something of real value in return.
  • You get to come across as a professional who is serious and detailed about how they do things.
  • It gives much needed focus to a project that both sides can greatly benefit from.

Following my research across several articles, some marketing and design classes I’ve completed in recent years, my recent design degree and drawing from my now 15 years in a design related business, I drafted and built the following Design Brief Worksheet and put it in digital form:

Reverb Studios Design Brief Worksheet

Please use the form to think about your own business’s current performance, goals, use it to hire my own services or adapt it for your own use.

Leon

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Reverb Studios Design 10 Years Old Today!

On this day, 11th of the 11th, exactly 10 years ago I registered the business name “Reverb Studios” with the Companies Registration Office having finally realised that the Photoshop and Web Design hobbies I’d had for a couple of years might actually have some potential to provide a full time job. I’d only just moved to Leitrim a couple of years before and hadn’t been able to find a job in my field which at the time would have been Electronics/Engineering so in my ample spare time I messed around on the computer, teaching myself Photoshop, Dreamweaver, HTML/CSS, Music Editing and other programs that I still use regularly today.

I had registered a small PC Repair business the year before and got a few jobs per week fixing people’s computers. Mostly virus removal, optimisation and hardware upgrades but I didn’t enjoy it all that much and income was minimal. I built a few websites for myself, then friends and family who in turn recommended me to friends of theirs and before I knew it really, I was a web designer and my web design services were in demand! Luckily, around that time it was beginning to dawn on people that marketing your business on the web as well as offline was becoming a bit of a necessity so there seemed to be plenty of work. I got some mentoring and funding from the local enterprise board in Leitrim, wrote a business plan (at their suggestion) and basically professionalised my skills and offering and got started in earnest.

Since then I’ve gradually increased my clients list and income year on year and I’m glad to say that today I have a well known and respected business with over 120 repeat clients and have become recognised locally as an expert in both WordPress Web design and Photoshop as well as general IT solutions.

I plan to be in business for another 10 years at least and to continue expanding my skillset, services and client base and hopefully expand employee numbers or partner with other companies at some stage.

The moral of my story is that it’s absolutely possible to make a career out of a hobby or something you love doing and to achieve that on your own steam starting with no experience or qualifications. All it takes is some common sense, hard work, good organisation and great communication.

Leon – Reverb Studios

 

Multi Language Website Translations

I can now offer foreign language translations of your website to appeal to either international markets or local foreign national communities. Most major modern languages can be catered for and translations are done by native speaking people and not machine translated.

I can add the translated content to your site and also install language switcher buttons/flags on your website front end to make switching language easy for visitors. Keywords are also translated so you have the chance of being found in foreign language markets thus potentially increasing your business reach.

Website Translations

Prices start from about €200/€300 per language for a small brochure (sub 5 page) website translation.

Here are some examples of dual language websites I’ve built:

www.ActivityIreland.com

www.LinnaneFinancial.ie

NB: Your website must run on a modern content management system such as WordPress to enable easy translation editing and functionality.

Photoshop Mentoring and Training Leitrim

For anyone in or around Leitrim who’d like to learn the basics of using Photoshop whether it be for personal/hobby use or to improve job prospects etc, I may be hireable under Leitrim LEO’s mentoring program on which I’ve provided mentoring for years now. I can also quote for mentoring outside of that too though.

I’ve found over the years that there’s a major lack of real world Photoshop or general advanced software training in Northwest Ireland. All you ever see is social media, start your own business, taxation, etc training. The kind of stuff most people should easily pickup themselves these days. What about people already established in their businesses and looking to move to the next level in certain areas?

The kind of people who would typically benefit from Photoshop training are:

  • Graphic Designers,
  • Web Developers,
  • Artists,
  • Photographers
  • etc..

I’ve been using Photoshop since about 2003 for personal and business use and have recently gained Adobe Expert status. I can mentor/teach basic use and some advanced techniques such as: Photo Restoration, Photo Editing, Photo Colorisation and more.

PS – I’m hoping to run a 2 day Photoshop training workshop in Carrick-on-Shannon early in 2015 so sign up for my newsletter to keep updated about this. I am also hoping to have an online Photoshop course as well.

Leon

New Reverb Studios Site for the UK & Northern Ireland

I’ve had the domain ReverbStudios.co.uk registered for years now and have finally got around to putting a site up! The site aims to expand Reverb Studios Design’s services to Northern Ireland and the UK and features a quote system and prices in UK Pound Sterling..

Live July 2014 – www.ReverbStudios.co.uk

Reverbstudios.co.uk

FREE Website Design for Charities

I’ve been meaning to build this site for a while. A few years ago I bought a load of “reverbstudios” web addresses including a .Org, a domain extension normally used by charitable organisations. The most logical thing to do was to build some kind of charity focused website on it and since I’m a Web Designer, it really had to become a place to go for charities who require FREE or very affordable web design services!?

Basically my intention is to build FREE websites for any worthy organisations who might benefit from them. I feel better doing something under my own control rather then sending money somewhere where I don’t know for sure how it will be used.

Please help spread the word.

Live March 2014 – www.ReverbStudios.Org

ReverbStudios.org