The process of design

The process of Design

Hey guys! ,

Hope you all are doing great!

Today I will be sharing our process that we follow while working on any project be it for web, graphics, branding etc. For each project the process remains the same and the only thing that changes is the specification.

This post would be a part of a different category of posts outlining the inner workings of this web/graphic design business and process.
So without further ado, here are the steps that we follow each time we start working on a new project.

The process is divided into few phases:
1. Discovery: The whole process starts with this phase. We meet the clients and after going over their brief for the job we get to discovery. Discovery means discovering about the client’s business , their competitors, their needs, and through all of this getting to the actual problem that they are facing. So that we can offer them relevant solutions only. As the emmy award winning designer Chris Do says:

“Diagnose before prescribing anything”

We read extensively about the client’s company, their business immersing ourselves in the shoes of our client. By doing this our minds get primed and then we can easily connect the dots and find out what problems the client may be suffering from. We read about the competition of the client, understanding what they are doing well, and what we can do better than them in our project.

This is the most important phase of the project because if we aren’t clear on the actual pain points of the clients then we will not be able to provide them with a medicine that resolves that pain.

We don’t want to offer them patchwork solutions by not getting to the core of the problem. Because that will eventually fail and lead to further problems down the road which will cost more money.

We also want to define the scope of the project in this phase. And we can do that only when we are clear about the problem of the client.

Scope creep hurts both parties later on and acts as an obstruction against the trust building between the client and a company so it’s better to address the scope before starting anything.

2. Ideation: After understanding the client’s problem/needs thoroughly in the Discovery phase, now in this phase we brainstorm different ideas for the project.
As a creative we are attracted to go directly over to our fancy software and create a quick mockup of our ideas. But it is not recommended at this stage. As we are just brainstorming our ideas currently we need to remove as much barriers as we can between our ideas and execution.
The software we use are great but they often come with lots of bell s and whistles which act as a mode of distraction and there is a danger of getting side tracked.

Also we can generally get stuck with the first idea and start working on it instead of generating new ideas. This limits our creativity and holds us back from trying out new things. Because in the digital software it takes time to design a mockup and that delay in putting ideas to execution further hampers our creativity.

So what do we do?

Well, the most useful tool at this stage which is considerably faster than Photoshop, Illustrator is the good old pencil and paper. You can iterate as many times as you can and with great speed. You can try so many ideas quickly and that is what the process of brainstorming is literally. We try everything that comes to your mind without judging any idea at this moment. This lets our ideas flow smoothly and the whole process becomes fun and exciting.

This is exactly what we do in this phase. We get down with pen/pencil and paper and start iterating as much ideas as we can. This creates a repository of ideas later on from which we choose the best ideas that solve the client’s problem and look beautiful too.

Wireframes creation is the next sub phase of this step. We create wireframes with basic layout elements and present it to our clients.

3. Execution: After we have generated ideas the next phase is the execution phase. In this phase we get down to the actual software and design a mockup from our sketches/wireframes that we did in previous step. We use the actual content if provided by the client in the mockup to give it a professional feel.

After the design approval from the client we start to lay it out in code and then add further functionality.

So the whole process is based on these 3 steps and the 4th step is the client feedback. When we get feedback in any phase we go to the previous step and implement it in our design. Basically it works like this-

“Discovery-Ideation-Execution-Feedback-execution-feedback….”

Although this process can be as detailed or as short as we want but these steps contain the core of this whole process from going to the project brief to the end product.

We will continue to present posts on the processes of the design/development business, so that we can offer some value to anyone reading this.

Cheers!!

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