Developing a process has allows for organization of the design process and to increase production.
Organization begins with an outline of the steps and order in which to proceed.
Obtaining a well defined brief from the client's will assist us in the development of the design and ensure that we are meeting the client's objectives and expectations.
The more detail we can obtain from the client the clearer their objectives and expectations are. We may need to assist them by providing them a subscript of what our expectations are for their design brief.
A well executed design begins with strong research skills. As a designer it is our job to research the competition to ensure that the client will be competitive in their market.
Develop a set of questions that will assist in the research process. For the deVinci project I followed these preliminary questions.
When we research the target audience's lifestyle we will begin to engage with that audience on a design level.
Researching the target audience lifestyle involves studying the purchasing pattern of products similar and different from the client's product.What do they purchase for work, leisure, and special occasions?
What emotions are the target audience experiencing with their purchases? What emotional responses are they drawn to with ads that they view? Delving into the psychological and emotional response will assist us in developing a design that addresses those responses of the target audience.
It is only when our research has been thoroughly established with understanding the target audience that we are ready to begin the design research. After all, how can we research the design if we are unfamiliar with the style of designs that the target audience is drawn to?
For the deVinci project, based on my preliminary research of the target audience, I began researching design styles that reflected my observations of what the target audience was drawn to.
The next process is to research the competition. We don't want to be a copy of the competition, but being drastically different is risky. It can work or it can fail miserably. Research will assist us in determine if a risk will result in a benefit to our client.
Just as we research the target audience motive for purchase, we similarly should research the competitions motive for selling to determine what is connecting with the target audience and that particular company.
The number "3" is a designer's code. We should always strive to research the top three strongest competitors and provide three designs to our client.
The next part of our research gets into the details. Researching color schemes is a critical part of the process as we are all attracted to color. Our research will assist us in determining if we are on the cutting edge or lost in time in regards to our color scheme.
Researching different fonts will allow us to determine the look and feel of our designs to ensure that they are meeting the client's objectives and expectations.
When the research is completed, it is time to unload our minds with the ideas and concepts that are starting to formulate. Sketching, whether electronically or by hand provides the medium for preliminary design exploration for preparation to the development of rough designs.
Roughs allow for the mock up of designs that will be presented to the team and client to ensure that we are on track with the objectives and expectations provided in the design brief.
The exploration of roughs allows the designer to fine tune or expand their design thoughts and styles. Three roughs will be chosen by the designer or team to present to the client. Any more than three usually results in the client becoming overwhelmed with choices and the meetings are less productive and more time consuming.
For the deVinci projects roughs were broken down into the three design criteria of promotional bag, shoe box, and gift card with display stand.
Presenting three design concepts to the client will assist them in the process of selection. For the deVinci project I chose to submit three designs that could also be used to expand the current project.
Presentation of designs should incorporate three different color schemes, font choice, texture or pattern style, and product or design style.
The order of presenting your boards is by personal choice. A good rule of thumb is to apply the behavior economics principle of Paradox of Choice. Designers understand that part of their job is to be Choice Architectures. Presenting your strongest first and the least strongest second will usually allow for the least strongest design to be eliminated architecturing the choice to be determine from the strongest two designs.
After obtaining further details and clarifications from the client after presenting the designs. The fine tuning of the client's choice should be minimal if the research resulted in producing a rough presentation design that appealed to the client.
The final presentation should go beyond flat work of the presentation board and provide the client with a mock up of the design which they can put their hands on.
Providing the client with a style guide will allow them to incorporate it into the brands manual ensuring that the design that was created will be presented to the public in a consistent manner.
Time sheets go beyond our ability to be paid for the work that we have done. Keeping track of past time sheets will provide closer estimates to give to future clients.
A cohesive look should exist throughout the different aspects of the design criteria of the client. This will also assist in repeat business as the client will want to ensure future projects are cohesive with past projects.