Idea Incubator

Is there a formula to great design?

How do you ensure that both the client and designer are happy with the end product and that the end product is also solving their “problem”?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. We cannot magically plug in our clients’ needs, desires and problems into some magic program and have the perfect solution come out on the other end… Adobe are you on this yet?

Although there is no formula, there are some preliminary steps leading up to the design process to help illustrate your desired outcome for the client in hopes to avoid them being totally surprised with the first round of creative. Great design is achieved through a trusted partnership. One built off not only listening, but also getting out of your own way to truly understand what the client is looking for in a project. Stepping out of your comfort zone.

Don’t try to fit a circle into a square hole. Work to provide the client with something that fits to their needs, which in some cases is something you might feel doesn’t fit into your desired portfolio. But like I said before, this isn’t about you and your ego. Leave that at the door.

In the beginning, transparency is key to the brainstorming process. Create a mood board of ideas and styles that not only have worked in the past, but that you might enjoy exploring for your self. Visuals will help illustrate what exactly you are trying to achieve and will spark conversation with your client that might not have originally happened. Don’t be afraid to share your process with them. This might inspire the client and help you get to the end product quicker, without surprising them with the first round of creative you show them.

In some cases your first idea might not always be the right one. You have to be prepared for this and have the ability to step back and take another shot at the project at hand. Have a conversation about aspects that might be working, while tying points back to your initial conversations with them about the project. Your resilience should be your shining attribute. Take a walk and revisit those early notes and sketches. There might be something there you weren’t seeing.

– Macdonald Whalen, Designer