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Practice Briefs and Where to Find Them

As a designer, there maybe be several reasons why you would want to use a practice project. Perhaps you’re just starting out and would like to bolster your portfolio with extra pieces. Maybe you’re looking for something different then your day to day design job. Or you may just be looking for fun projects to try out new software with.

Why Use a Brief?

One of the most popular sage advices I disagree with in the design world: take a website/logo/app/whatever and redesign it. While great for a practice project, it’s actually detrimental, in my opinion, to use an unsolicited redesign as part of your portfolio. Why? These self guided unsolicited redesigns are not taking in consideration real world problems. Client briefs have goals, definitions, and include information a casual user may not be privy to. By using a full blown brief, you’re being given this information for the task on the brief, and there will be no creators’ bias when you’re using a brief designed by someone else. Practice briefs are better then ones you create yourself, because they provide the problems to be solved.

Where Do You Get a Brief?

Websites

There are plenty of places online to find practice briefs to work with. The briefs on these websites go from simple one sentace briefs to full blown informational packets, in a wide array of industries and methods.

Real World Experience

If you really want to make an impact with your work, check out local foundations or non-profits that might need your volunteer expertise. This route gives you to added benefit of learning to work with and speak to clients- something the website options can’t give you. Not only will you be expanding your skill set, you are helping those who typically dont have it in their budget for top notch design. So pick a cause you’re passionate about, and start reaching out to groups that could use your help.

Practice briefs are a great way to take a break from your daily grind, build your portfolio, or test out new software. By using practice briefs you can forget about the little details and focus on the project at hand- producing work for your goal.

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