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The Briefing is Always Wrong

It doesn’t matter if you’re working inside a company or if you do client work. At some point in the process, you get briefed on your upcoming tasks.

One key characteristic of briefings is, that they are the manifestation of the stakeholder’s knowledge at a specific point in time. Almost by definition, the briefing is already out of date when the work begins. Additionally, since it’s so hard in general to capture knowledge into any kind of document (presentation, text, video, …), the briefing is probably incomplete. But the biggest knowledge gap in a briefing is usally the lack of empirical data—that is to say, the lack of user testing, field studies, interviews and other sources of hard facts about the problem at hand.

For those reasons, I think that every briefing must be wrong in at least one way. Which means that our task as designers is to find out where it is wrong, why it is wrong and what we need to do to close the knowledge gap. We’ve got our work cut out for us.

Published by Sebastian Ullherr on 2018-08-20

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