What guides your design choices? Can you explain how the choices build value for your client’s brand? I think every designer should be able to. To me, good design is the expression of a clients’ brand that improves the business and the experience for the people interfacing with brand/design.
The Brand should be the common language between designer and client. Because, in the end, it’s the brand that absorbs the impact of the choices being made, especially when you’re designing experiences for mobile and web–the designed experience IS the product, which is the ultimate expression of the brand you’re building.
Before I ever draw a single pixel or drag my pencil across the paper of my sketchbook. I
want need a sense of what the brand stands for: What does this brand mean to the team or company I’m working for? What does it mean to the end-users interacting with the experiences I’m designing? This is why I love working with start-ups or teams working on special projects because the passion is so potent, that sense of meaning comes very quickly.
The other important element, which is sometimes a little tougher to unearth, is the brand’s purpose. What is the brand’s core value to their customers? Where is the brand’s place in the market? What is its place in the world? It’s commonplace these questions can’t always be answered definitively, especially for really early stage start-ups. But, here’s what I’ve discovered about this: purpose often reveals itself through an iterative process of executing a brand’s meaning. In other words, being guided by meaning will lead you to purpose.
The third element is the constraints and objectives of the project at hand. It’s the translation of these objectives and constraints into a designed experience that is the platform for the brand expression we’re talking about.
With these guiding elements in place, we have purpose, we have meaning and we have specific context in which we can make wise design choices about how to express our clients’ brand. This perspective also provides context to discuss how we make the business better and challenge clients on assumed notions and loosely formed ideas.
I welcome any experience or wisdom around this. Please share in the comments.
“Beauty without expression is boring.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson