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47 Examples of Design Requirements

Design requirements are specifications of the functions, features and quality of a design. Ideally, these give a design team everything they need to deliver a design to client expectations without unduly constraining the design in ways that reduce its creative value. For example, colors shouldn't be specified in requirements unless a design truly has to align to some brand restrictions or client preferences regarding color. The following are common elements of design requirements.
A brand guide to follow such as how to use a corporate logo.
Business Rules
Behavior of a system often in the form if .... then ....
Color palettes to use or restrictions on colors.
Standards or practices such as accessibility or security guidelines.
Consistency & Cohesion
The requirement that a design be consistent with other things. For example, an interior design for a room that matches the rest of a house.
Content such as text, logos, icons or photos to be used in the design.
Content Style
Direction as to the style of content such as a style guide for written text.
Requirements that users be able to configure things.
What the design itself will include such as drawings, user interface specifications and so forth.
Design Assumptions
A set of assumptions such as a technology that will be used.
Design Concept
A general concept that a design needs to capture. For example, a room that feels natural.
Design Constraints
Constraints such as a budget.
Design Mood
A visual concept for the design such as a mood board for a brand.
Design Objectives / Goals
What the design is meant to achieve.
How long the design must last.
Error Handling
Identification of error states and how to handle them.
How the design implements functions. For example, buttons on a user interface.
Form Factor
The shape or 3d form of a design.
What the design does.
How the design is explained to the user.
Requirements for symbols and icons and their use.
Inputs such as user inputs or data used by a design.
Layout / Composition
Direction regarding the layout or composition of a design such as a room that must be open concept.
Requirements for learnability. For example, a design that must be intuitive with nothing to learn.
Look & Feel
Specifications for user experience at the sensory level such as touch and visual experience.
The materials to be used. For example, a chair that must be wood.
Media Specifications
Specifications for media such as photographs to be used in a design.
User or admin options to change the functions, features, interface and look of a design.
Requirements for product packaging.
The target performance of a design such as how much weight a chair can safety support.
Requirements that a design automatically change based on what is known about the user.
Requirements for design quality such as acceptance criteria.
Target reliability such a system that must be up 99.999% of the time.
Metrics and other data reported by the design.
Stresses the design must handle. For example, a waiting room in a theme park that must handle 30,000 guests a day for 50 years without any major maintenance.
Safety requirements such as a room that requires a fire-resistant barrier.
Physical and information security requirements. For example, a vehicle barrier requirement for a pedestrian walkway.
Sensory Requirements
Requirements for sensory experience such as the taste of a product.
The structure of a design such as the user interface depth of an information environment.
Direction as to the required style of a design such as architecture that must align to a local architectural style.
Technical Requirements
Technical requirements such as the database a system will use.
Typography / Font
Specifications for typography such as font and spacing.
Universal Design
Requirements that the design be accessible to a broad range of people including people with disabilities.
Direction as to the usability of a design. For example, a design that is intuitive for a novice user.
Use Cases
Specifications of how users will interact with the design.
User Experience
Requirements for user experience. For example, a search box that should never override or change what the user has typed.
Validation rules for user input.

Design Requirements

This is the complete list of articles we have written about design requirements.
Custom Fit
Design Constraints
Design Function
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