Design process – how it works?

Design Process

If you are curious how the design process works, have a look at my to-do list below. I use it every time I work on a project.

1. Meeting or email

  • Write down key points
  • Ask as many questions as possible
  • Start sketching your first ideas about the project
  • When someone told you “I want serious designs” decode why he made this decision
  • Why is the client asking for such and such colours?
  • Make sure that client fills this form or answers similar questions
  • Ask more questions to make sure that everything is clear

2. Create the proposal

  • 1 page brief with clear statement of what is your job and what client has to provide for you (like content or existing logos)
  • 1 page to break down the timeline and the price to show clearly what the client is paying for
  • Include all additional costs: images, developer

3. Get the approval

  • Adjust proposal if necessary
  • Client’s signature that guarantees start of the project

4. Research

  • Start by interviewing the client
  • If you get the chance, interview his clients, coworkers
  • Who is your audience (make sure you confirm that with client)
  • Try your client’s product
  • Check out the competition
  • Visual research
  • Articles
  • Research more
  • Get inspired from unexpected sources like textures, research for the opposite
  • Summarise the research and talk about the conclusions to your client to make sure you are on the same track
  • Ask people who have no idea about design for an opinion

5. Strategy

Based on your research create a business strategy that will include:

  • The goal of the project
  • What problem does the project/service solve
  • Company unique selling point
  • Company slogan
  • Company mission
  • Who are the clients
  • Product story
  • Sales Funnels
  • Marketing action plan

5. Sketching

  • Sketch your ideas
  • Compare the sketches with the ones you did after the first meeting and draw a conclusion

6. Designing

  • Done in one of Adobe CC software, handmade or both
  • Choose 3 best ideas
  • Don’t prepare ideas you are not sure of
  • Ask your friends about an opinion. Sometimes they can think of something that didn’t even cross your mind
  • Don’t use stock images that client cannot afford or is not expecting to be billed for
  • Explain all your design decisions

7. Get feedback

  • Listen to everything carefully. Something that seems unreasonable at the moment (like “I don’t want blue colour”) might be very important. Maybe it is the colour of the competition?
  • Make sure that the client explains all the negative and positive feedback.
  • Make sure you understand the feedback
  • Don’t leave the room with any doubts

8. Apply feedback

Make all the changes the client asked for and pray for no more revisions

9. Get paid

Or don’t if you didn’t make part 5

10. Send final files

  • Now everybody is happy ?
  • Follow up with the client a week or so later, just to see if there is still happiness