Prep Time:
Time to run:
1-3 hours

Quick reference guide template

A short document summarizing the key elements of a proposed solution

Courtesy of our friends at

Use this template to ensure your original design intent is maintained as the idea moves from conception through production and beyond. Clarity is key, so the guide must be easy to understand yet thorough enough to convey necessary information to a wide variety of people.

The Mural quick reference guide template includes space set aside for the solution and the design intent of your project, as well as highlights from your research and further background on project focus and milestones.

The quick reference guide template helps you:

  • Explain the purpose and rationale for design decisions
  • Create a central resource outlining the purpose and principles behind your design
  • Share your rationale and key principles with stakeholders
  • Collaboratively update your guide as your project or design evolves

How to use the quick reference guide template

To make best use of the Mural quick reference guide template, follow the below steps.

1. Identify a design that is ready to be documented

The first step is to identify a design or project that is in the early stages of development — this will help define the purpose of the project from the outset.

2. Assemble the team working on the design

Assemble the team that originated the solution, as they will have the appropriate background information and context for why the current solution is being pursued.

3. Define the design intent and key principles

With the team directly involved in the design, discuss the design intent and ask them to communicate the design principles and standards in a concise manner.

4. Describe the focus of the research

Use this section to outline the research that went into the design, as well as the key insights that informed the decision making along the way.

5. Describe the focus of the project

Finally, outline the focus of the project and include key milestones along the way, including dates, success metrics, and responsible parties.

Tips for running a quick reference guide template exercise

To run a successful quick reference guide template session, you should:

  • Ensure that all key stakeholders from the team involved in the design are engaged, so you avoid any blind spots
  • Use sticky notes, tags, and color coding to capture and organize information and feedback from everyone on the team
  • Update your quick reference guide going forward to ensure that it reflects the current state and performance of the project or design

How to create a Quick reference guide template

Mural makes building and sharing a quick reference guide fast and easy

Intuitive features and tools make for better collaboration, faster iteration, and increased transparency — so everyone is on the same page.
Sticky notes & text

Sticky notes & text

Add ideas, action items, and more as a sticky note or text box — then change the colors and cluster to identify patterns and new solutions.

Asynchronous collaboration

Asynchronous collaboration

Innovate and collaborate effectively together without booking time on calendars.

Icons, GIFs, & images

Icons, GIFs, & images

Express complex ideas visually or lead an engaging team-building activity with Noun Project, GIPHY, and Unsplash integrations.

Easy sharing

Easy sharing

There’s no barriers to collaboration with unlimited workspace members on the Free plan.

Flexible permissions

Flexible permissions

Control access to collaboration features with view-only, edit, and facilitator settings.

Infinite & resizable canvas options

Infinite & resizable canvas options

Choose the right canvas for your collaboration goals — flexibility without limits.

Quick reference guide template frequently asked questions

What is a quick reference guide?

What is the purpose of a quick reference guide?

How do I create a quick reference guide?

LUMA Institute

Template by LUMA Institute


LUMA offers acclaimed in-person training, custom innovation programs, and a unique digital platform (LUMA Workplace), used by innovators in over 70 countries. Leading organizations around the globe rely on the LUMA System of Innovation — a practical, flexible, and scalable approach to Human-Centered Design.