So you’re sitting in that room together with the clients and your project manager, finalizing requirements for your new digital design project.
As a UX designer, it’s your job to understand what the business need of your client is. And know what the trick is? It’s not seldom that the business owner has a vague idea of what requirements to set. So what’s the possible scenario for you?
You either have to rely on previous experience to fill in the gap of requirements for you, or push for more details. In the second case you may face the “Come on, you’re the expert here attitude”.
I’ve worked on various projects and I have figured out something very well. If you don’t understand the requirements for the final product, there’s not a chance for you to make your project successful.
So, even if you’ve been in the niche for quite a while, your experience won’t fill all the gaps that there are project-wise, and the lack of those may lead to more of a negative consequence. So, let’s look at some important steps to keep up with the “ace” mode for design!
You need to base your solution on solid research
Where do the boundaries of actual business needs, your ideas and the client’s requirements cross? It’s our job to make them coincide, and to do so you need to conduct actual research of the client’s niche and their business.
Your design always needs to support a vision for the business
Therefore, you don’t have to run your work in a way as if you’re creating guidelines for your client’s business. I would say just the opposite: it’s the business that should create guidelines for you.
Design is intended to express a business idea, not create it
If you wanna create something exceptional, there’s always lots of thought that you have to put into the process!
Do you recognize this logo? I bet you do!
Today this is a representation of mere success, a company that’s estimated at USD 28 billion with the founder being the 15th richest person on this globe! And that’s a hell of a result unless you are from another planet!
But did you know the actual design was created by a graphic design student for USD 35 (around USD 206 today) in a time span of 17.5 hours?
The wonder is simple- The Nike Swoosh supported a solid concept- motion and the wing of Nike, the goddess of victory in Greek mythology!
So, if you have a worthwhile concept and understanding of what the design needs to express, your chances for successful delivery are automatically multiplied.
Marketing and Design are best buddies
As a designer you sure know the most “precious” thing is the idea. But once you have it trapped, it should go hand in hand with marketing planning. Way before the idea hits the market, and of course way before implementation, the idea expressed in design shall also be described through marketing planning.
So the decision to change your marketing should be directly reflected on your design.
The “oops” for startups
Shall I start with the good ol’ news? 90% of startups fail within the first year of operation.
So if you’re crafting the design for a startup right now, there’s some different criteria for you to consider. In startups the business idea is not yet clear to the full. It’s constantly generated, transformed and updated, so here design plays a much more crucial role from the perspective of planning.
It doesn’t have to be fake: it has to cover the ever-changing business idea.
Okay, now that we are clear on these ones, let’s look at some takeaways. Design is product vision which solves management issues so it should be started from high-level idea generation rolling quick to determining the “purpose” of design.
And when I say “purpose” I mean the actual value that your design will add to the business. Do your clients struggle with low conversion rates? Do they have a complicated sales funnel? Do their users bounce off because of poor UX? Research the business and its practices, and know the problem you’re trying to solve for the end users.
Let me roll it all up by saying I by no means imply that we shall leave “the tools of the trade” and only concentrate on research and grasping the business idea. Designer tools, industry newbies and coding shall all be passions of ours, but if we can spice them up with profound understanding, we sure are heading in the right direction!
learn from each other!
Marat Avanesyan is a technology geek and a UI/UX professional.
He works on creating exceptional user experience for all SFL products.