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Living Briefs to Turn Desired Futures into Reality

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Alan Topalian, Founder, Alto Design Management


Design briefs have changed a lot over the past 20 years. Once they were simply a means for clients to tell designer what they wanted; indeed, it wasn't unusual for clients to bypass designers in order to add convenient details to a product, even when it compromised the solution. Eventually, designers began to learn to ask probing questions of their clients about the business problems that had given rise to the project at hand, and problem definition became a new design competency. More recently, leading design practices moved on to designing user experiences, and that's when the idea of ""living briefs"" began to take hold. ""Living briefs evolved to provide a framework to clarify business opportunities and related problems to be addressed, and to think through desired experiences generated by implemented solutions to check how products, services, processes, and policies might work out,"" writes Alan Topalian, the founder of Alto Design Management in London. ""We design desired futures; then we design effective means to turn them into reality.""




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