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Writing Good Briefs - the first step on the road to digital innovation

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Arts Council Wales invited me to talk about what constitutes a good brief so I talked in detail about a few examples. We worked with Tate, National Museums Scotland and Bristol Zoo on some great briefs the resulted in award-winning projects.

To wrap things up I offer some advice on writing a great brief. Put your stakes in the sand!

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Writing Good Briefs - the first step on the road to digital innovation

  1. 1. @thoughtbenBen Templetonben@thoughtden.co.ukWriting good briefs
  2. 2. Web
  3. 3. Mobile
  4. 4. Installation
  5. 5. Outdoors
  6. 6. “Playful learning”School ground games Board gamesPhysical games
  7. 7. Families & KidsRaise awareness ofArkive’s archiveMobile game
  8. 8. 35,000 so fariOS & Android15,000 downloadswithin 2 weeks
  9. 9. Casual audiencePlayful experienceOutside the gallery
  10. 10. 2,500artwork‘tags’
  11. 11. @thoughtbeniOS65,000Nokia55,000110,000 so fariOS & Nokia OVI
  12. 12. Bringarchive to lifeInnovate &EngageBristolZooGardens
  13. 13. “Wouldn’t it be cool if...”You could strikea pose to unlockan animal!?
  14. 14. Bring thespace to lifeEngage with exhibitsInnovate
  15. 15. Launching May 17th 2013
  16. 16. Online +in GalleryScience of painInstantly fun
  17. 17. A good brief is...freedom...?
  18. 18. A good brief is...freedom...?A better brief has...restrictions!
  19. 19. Common fears...Technology!?Focus on the audience, the outcome, the storyBuying something complicatedPut a support contract in place. Technology breaks.How much detail?Don’t wildly guess, be honest.If the vision is clear, lay it out. Don’t be precious.Who to commission?Engage the community.Talk with agencies because people and communication are important
  20. 20. How briefs commonly fail...Asking too muchOnly so much can be achieved. Think small and well formed.Not practicalAn idea might be great in theory, impossible in practice.Too verbose / too vagueWe’re not academics, keep it as short.Be clear what you want!Technological restraintsTechnology isn’t an issue, we can overcome it.Our techies can play nice with your techies.
  21. 21. Admirable brief-writing behaviour...A visionA clear ideal and a drive to follow it through.BraveryNot just following the crowd. Roll the dice!CollaborationWork with us, not against. Get involved! Contribute knowledge.FlexibilityConcepts evolve. Plan for unforeseen problems / new potentialClarityNo surprises down the line please. What do you / don’t you know?
  22. 22. The 8 stakes of brief-writing...Tone / styleChallenging / naughty / authoritative /playful / dramatic / serious ...AudienceSpecifically who is it for? What do they like?How do they behave?ContentText / images / video / user generated /academic / crowd sourced / storiesInteractionGamey / tool / feedback / collaborative /competitive / touch / gesture / mouse...InspirationProjects / activity you admire. Ideas thatcan be ‘re-appropriated’ResultUnderstanding / awareness / ‘Likes’ / sitetraffic / social shares / UGC etcContextWhere / when / why / how is the projectused? Political / social / surroundingsPlatformInnovative / safe / PHP / mobile / TV /audio / Facebook / Twitter...
  23. 23. You only need THREE for a good briefTone / style“Challenge the audience member to thinkfor themselves. Dramatic, profound.”AudienceSpecifically who is it for? What do they like?How do they behave?ContentText / images / video / user generated /academic / crowd sourced / storiesInteraction“Relaxed, calming. A dip-in, dip-outexperience. Delve for more.”InspirationProjects / activity you admire. Ideas thatcan be ‘re-appropriated’ResultUnderstanding / awareness / ‘Likes’ / sitetraffic / social shares / UGC etcContext“Our audience should feel comfortable &safe, so most likely at home, at night.”PlatformInnovative / safe / PHP / mobile / TV /audio / Facebook / Twitter...
  24. 24. @thoughtbenBen Templetonben@thoughtden.co.ukExercise / Questions
  25. 25. @thoughtbenLinks“Magic Tate Ball” press page - http://www.thoughtden.co.uk/magictateball“Magic Tate Ball” Guardian Culture Pros - http://tdn.lv/MTBguardian“Zoom” overview - http://www.thoughtden.co.uk/zoom“Survival” download - http://tdn.lv/playsurvival / http://bit.ly/survivalandroid“Survival” press page - http://tdn.lv/s7uzJJ“Capture The Museum” - http://www.capturethemuseum.com“OUCH” the game - http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/ouch“OUCH” Guardian Culture Pros - http://tdn.lv/ouchpress2Further Thought Den work - http://www.thoughtden.co.uk/portfolioThought Den discussion / analysis - http://www.thoughtden.co.uk/blog

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