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How to Respond Better to Client Briefs

As a learning designer, passionate about what you do, it can be easy to get carried away with a client brief. 

You read the brief, an idea pops into your head and you are off! The more you work on your submission, the more excited you get. “The client is going to be so impressed”, you think. You create your submission, polish it until it is perfect and send it off. They advise you that you did not win the contract.

  • You provided a Microsoft PowerPoint submission when they requested a PDF.
  • Your submission required an LMS, which they do not have.
  • The company already has a look and feel/theme and you created your own.
  • The client wanted a human-centered design approach, which you did not offer.
Maybe you have experienced this before. All of that effort that you put in. Your emotional investment in the solution. The expectation you had for the future project. It can be disappointing.

At Belvista Studios, we have learnt how to assess client requests and provide them with what they want and need. In this blog, we are going to share our tips with you so that you can create fit-for-purpose solutions and put yourself in a better position to win the contracts/projects that you want to work on.

These are our practical tips...

1. Create a Checklist

Carefully analyse the information that the client has provided you with and create a checklist.

This checklist should include everything that the client has requested in their brief. While you are creating your solution, cross-check it against the checklist to ensure that it meets the client’s needs.

Here is an example checklist:

  • Must be provided as a PDF.
  • Must be functional without an LMS.
  • Requires content only, not a look and feel.
  • Seeking a human-centred design approach.
2. Ask Questions

Do not make assumptions. If you are not sure what the client is asking for, ask.

By making assumptions about what you think the client wants, you are putting yourself at risk of spending time and effort on something that is not fit-for-purpose.

Once you have clarified what the client wants, repeat it back to them to ensure that you understand correctly.

3. Consider the Company Brand

When you are creating your submission, consider how you can align it to the company’s brand in what you present back to them. Make them feel like you already work for them and get their brand.


  • What are their company colours?
  • What is their language style (for example, formal or casual)?
  • Do they have images or illustrations online that you can use?
  • Does their website provide you with insight into their look and feel?
4. Step into the Client’s World

Take the time to consider what your client needs. Through analysing their submission and understanding the world from their perspective, you are better placed to create a solution that meets their needs.

Ask yourself, ‘If I was the client...

  • What would I care about?
  • What would I want to see from a submission?
  • What would excite me?
  • What would make my life easier?
  • Who would I feel comfortable with providing the project/contract to?’
5. Ask for Feedback

If you do not win a project or contract, ensure that you ask for feedback.

Feedback can provide you with the information and skills that you need to be successful in the future. If you are ever in a position to submit a solution for that client again, you will know how to better meet their needs.

That is it for this blog on ‘How to Respond Better to Client Briefs’. The skills that we have spoken about in this blog are crucial to your success as a learning designer. They will enable you to meet the needs of your client and create solutions that are fit-for-purpose, put you in a better position to win contracts and ultimately enable you to succeed in your role.

If you would like to discuss this topic in further detail, contact our passionate founder Kim via or by connecting with her on LinkedIn.

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