The applicability of the Direct Displacement-Based Design (DBD) procedure is strictly related to a priori evaluation of the design displacement and the matching Equivalent Viscous Damping (EVD) of the structure. In this paper we propose analytical models of these design parameters, at the ultimate limit state, for wooden structures built with engineered joints. Experimental results show that the plastic resources and dissipative capabilities of timber structures under earthquake conditions are ensured by the connections between the members. Therefore, the formulation of the design DBD parameters is based on the mechanical model of the single connector and assumes the inelastic deformation of the structure to be concentrated at the joints. The expected non-linear response of the connections can be either ductile or brittle. However, through an appropriate choice of the geometry and strength characteristics of the materials, in the design process we can control the expected ductile behavior of joints.