The Anatomy of a Creative Brief…

…or at least the creative brief we’re going to use.

equine anatomy illustration
Image from Crossett Library Bennington College

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Firefox for Android UX & Product folk are embarking on a new experiment towards streamlining how we define and design new features.

One of the new things we’re doing is collaboratively developing a “creative brief” which the UX team can then use for focused brainstorming and exploration. Ian Barlow — Firefox for Android’s exceedingly awesome UX lead — and I put together the following framework for this.

Overview & goals
A few sentences (as few as one) that outline the overarching goals and purpose of this project/feature.

  • What is this feature/project?
  • What are we hoping to accomplish?

Non-goals
This section is technically optional, but it’s often useful to think about and explicitly state what you’re not trying to do.

  • The flipside — what is this feature/project not?
  • What specific aspects are we not interested in exploring or expanding into?

Who is this for?
Defining our target audience.

  • Who is this for?
  • What specific demographics/groups/sorts of people are we trying to help?
  • Which of the Firefox “user types” are included?

Why are we doing this?
What triggers lead to this initiative? This could be one or any combination of the following, and more.

  • User feedback
  • User research
  • Demonstrated/observed user problems
  • Technology opportunities
  • Market drivers
  • Other specific problems that need to be solved
  • Partnership opportunities
  • Competitive analyses
  • etc.

Inspiration
What elements could/should we use as inspiration when we start thinking/brainstorming about this project? The “inspiration board” for the project.

  • What examples of this idea/feature already exist?
  • What design elements from elsewhere do we think could be interesting and useful?
  • Any other inspirational images, links, articles, etc.

User research
Any background studies we have done or can find about our target users.

  • Links to any relevant user studies we’ve done ourselves either directly or peripherally related to this feature, project, or users.
  • “Literature review” results — external articles, studies, etc. that we believe would be helpful when working on this feature/project.

User stories & use cases
These are not intended to be final user stories for this project, but rather a handful of stories and use cases that provide a starting point and further inspiration & understanding about how the Product team is thinking about this project/feature.

Criteria for success
What do our victory conditions look like? How will we know we have succeeded? What metrics do we think we’ll use to make these victory conditions measurable and concrete?

And that’s about that. We’re in the process of fleshing out the creative brief for our first project experiment, and when we have that in a more complete state, I’ll post about it here.

As always, questions & feedback are welcome, and you can always find the Firefox for Android team hanging out in the #mobile IRC channel.

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