The Design Brief is a short statement of what you are going to make, why you are going to make it, and for whom you are making it for.

It should be an open ended statement.

For example; a clock project.
A good Design Brief might be something like this...
"Teenagers have very busy lives. School, family and social activities mean that being punctual is very important.
I will design and make a wall clock that will be appealing for teenage girls. It will be a modern design and will be suitable for a teenage girl's bedroom. Because the design will appeal to teenage girls, them they will be more likely to look at it, read the time and therefore not be late.

A poor example would be something like this:
" I will make a football clock from plastic and print out pictures of players to use as the numbers."


The Design Specification is the most crucial element of the Investigate phase of the Design Cycle.
A good Design Specification should include information that you learned about the task/problem from your research.
It is a list of requirements that your design ideas must meet plus a list of constraints that you have. It is the check list that you need to use when you start to make your design ideas.

After your research you can develop a Design Specification. This will tell you:
  1. The Audience- Who you are designing for (who will see/buy the product)
  2. Objective - What the successful design must do: This is a description of what the solution will accomplish. It could indicate how well the solution is expected to work or under what conditions it will work
  3. Production -
    • What it should look like (Size/colours/etc)
    • What it should be made from
    • Tools needed to make the product
    • Time needed to complete the product
  4. Usage - How it will be used

This is an example of a good Design Specification for a Clock Project:

  • Must use the Quartz analogue clock movement provided.
  • The movement is 55mm x 55mm x 15mm, so it must be larger that 55mm x 55mm.
  • Should be smaller that 300mm x 300mm due to the size of the hands.
  • Cannot be thicker that 5mm due to the length of the movement shaft.
  • Should have a theme that reflects the results from my survey.
  • Must be original in its design.
  • Should be made from MDF, timber or acrylic as are the most suitable.
  • Must be able to be made in the TIS workshop.
  • Can not be too difficult to make.
  • Must be cost effective to make.
  • Should be easy to read.
  • Should be safe. (No sharps edges, non-toxic)
  • Must be able to hang on the wall securely
  • Must be able to be made in the time provided.
  • Must tell the time!

Test: I could test my clock by;

  1. Conducting a survey of my intended market
  2. Check that it can be read form various distances, angles and by various people.
  3. Ensure that it keeps accurate time by checking it against the clock on a computer.
  4. Check to see if the batteries can be replaced easily.
  5. Check that it hangs on the wall well and will not fall if bumped.

Here is another example (for a Skill Game) using headings:


- Will be 'hand' size. (120x120x20 approx)
- Will be made in the time given. (5-6 weeks)
- Will be made from the materials provided.
- (Softwood, acrylic, plywood, MDF)

Function (How it works)
- Must be either a maze or a 'ball in the hole' type of game.
- Must be an appropriate difficulty level for the age group.
- Must have at least one ball

Aesthetics: (the looks)
- Should be appealing for the target market.
- Should look 'well made'

- Must have no splinters
- Must have not sharp edges or points
- Must be made from non-toxic materials

- The ball should roll freely and not get caught.
- Needs to be well made and of good construction
- Needs to be durable, tough and hard wearing
- Should be smooth o the touch

- Should use the minimum amount of materials possible
- Waste kept to a minimum
- Use recycled materials wherever possible.

Your designs are EACH then evaluated against this Design Specification.

Perhaps use the Design Specification as check list for each design and explain how your designs meet each specification point. (or if they don't...)