≡ Menu
David Lee King

Writing an Experience Brief



Designing the Digital Experience was reviewed!I just realized that I mentioned using an Experience Brief in my book and in some of my presentations, but haven’t explained much about actually writing one. Since it’s something I want to do for my library’s website, I decided to do some “how-to” research on writing experience briefs … here’s what I found.

First of all – what exactly is an Experience Brief? It’s related to the Creative Brief, from marketing land. A Creative Brief is used to succinctly describe all the stuff the creative group plans to do to promote a new product. An experience brief uses that same concept … but helps define the experiences a customer should experience while using your website.

An Experience Brief is summed up by 8sharp: “The Experience Brief goes beyond “look and feel” and asks, “What is the experience we want the user to have?”"

37signals’ ebook, Getting Real, gives another brief taste of what an Experience Brief is all about. “So what should you do in place of a spec? Go with a briefer alternative that moves you toward something real. Write a one page story about what the app needs to do. Use plain language and make it quick. If it takes more than a page to explain it, then it’s too complex. This process shouldn’t take more than one day.” They don’t really mention writing an experience brief … but writing a one page story about what the app/website needs to do IS a way to focus completely on the experience of the site/app.

MJ Braide goes a bit further in Get More From Brand Strategy Part Two: The Experience Brief. Here are some relevant quotes from the article:

  • “The Experience Brief is designed to help focus on the experiences that have the greatest impact on those that matter most to you. It begins with an inventory of the major interactions with whomever you consider to be your most important audiences.”
  • “For each of the most important groups, target experiences are defined that are closely linked to the brand promise. Important: this is about THEM not about YOU. It is the impressions, feelings and beliefs that you want to occur in THEIR minds, through what you do.”
  • “As with the Creative Brief, the Experience Brief is then used by every division and department of the organization to inform service standards, interaction protocols and whatever else the playbook demands, based on your strategy and the economics of your relationships.”

Finally, some words of advice from Advertising Age – What Are You Packing Into Your (Creative) Briefs?

  • Think simple. The more sophisticated the brief, the simpler it should be. The more glissandi and grace notes the piece has, the harder it is to play.
  • More spaces to fill present a greater opportunity for bad poetry. Avoid theoretical definitions; keep the language at the 8th-grade level.
  • It’s been suggested that you’ll know you’re onto something big when you can pitch the story in under 30 seconds. Can you deliver an elevator speech for your product? Are you writing it to be read?

Hope this helps! ANyone have anything to add? Do you know what goes into writing either an experience brief or a creative brief? Ever written one? Please share!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://gathernodust.blogspot.com/ Jeff Scott

    David,

    Having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish in the clearest language is the best approach. Provide your product or service in its utopic version of itself. I’d pretty much re-hash anything you’ve already looked up.

  • http://gathernodust.blogspot.com Jeff Scott

    David,

    Having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish in the clearest language is the best approach. Provide your product or service in its utopic version of itself. I’d pretty much re-hash anything you’ve already looked up.

  • http://mjbraide.com Mary Jane Braide

    Hey David. Thanks for picking up my post on the Experience Brief. It’s funny isn’t it that the experience tends to be an implicit part of the creative brief. It makes so much sense to carve it out – and not just for the digital experience – also offline, in retail, on the phones, every channel. Have you got examples? mj

  • David Lee King

    Mary Jane Braide – thanks for the comment! I agree – it should be separate. No examples found yet. I did some pretty extensive searching, and pretty much found what I quoted here. Lots of stuff and examples came up for User Experience Brief… ut looking through those, it’s really a different beast. The user experience briefs I saw didn’t do what was described above at all – they were more of a “scope of work/functional spec” type document. Didn’t really touch on the overall experience at all.

    If you find/have some examples, I’d love to see them!

  • David Lee King

    Mary Jane Braide – thanks for the comment! I agree – it should be separate. No examples found yet. I did some pretty extensive searching, and pretty much found what I quoted here. Lots of stuff and examples came up for User Experience Brief… ut looking through those, it’s really a different beast. The user experience briefs I saw didn’t do what was described above at all – they were more of a “scope of work/functional spec” type document. Didn’t really touch on the overall experience at all.

    If you find/have some examples, I’d love to see them!

  • Pingback: 25 Tips for Writing the User Experience | Karen Goldfarb, Copywriter

  • http://getfluency.com/ Fritz Desir

    Seconding the request for samples. Even a mocked up sample would be very illustrative & I think make this concept more a bit more useful. Just my .02. Thx!

  • http://getfluency.com Fritz Desir

    Seconding the request for samples. Even a mocked up sample would be very illustrative & I think make this concept more a bit more useful. Just my .02. Thx!

  • http://mjbraide.com/ Mary Jane Braide

    Hey David. Thanks for picking up my post on the Experience Brief. It's funny isn't it that the experience tends to be an implicit part of the creative brief. It makes so much sense to carve it out – and not just for the digital experience – also offline, in retail, on the phones, every channel. Have you got examples? mj