UX Design

3 valuable ways to avoid wasting time chasing bad ideas

Every design project begins with a kickoff meeting and its such a critical moment in any design project or competitive pitch. Your objective in the meetings is to gather information so you can walk away and create an effective design solution.

The kickoff meeting sets the course and tone for the entire project. If you don't get this right, the ideas you generate could be irrelevant and a complete waste of time.

To avoid wasting time chasing bad ideas, you MUST do the following three things.

Define the goal

First of all. What is the project? What are the requirements? By this we mean, what does it need to do?

From my experience the client knows what they want but its often a GRAND plan. This is great but, you need to help them prioritise what the ultimate goal of the project is. To do this you should come up with ONE simple, focused sentence. 

“The landing page will educate consumers about order management”
"The online campaign should intensify the latest sneaker release"

Once you have the goal written up, you need understand whats blocking the client? What is in the way of them achieving their goal? This leads us onto the next stage of the kickoff meeting.

Diagnose the problem

Web design is, and always will be, about problem-solving. With every project you will encounter a set of challenges. Its your job as a designer to uncover the current issues and surface them to the client.

In order to understand the challenges, you must diagnose the problem by solving; the who, how and what is causing it? This is often the challenging part in my experience because a lot of companies don't know who there customers are — they aren't focused on who they are targeting. Nevertheless its our job to help them get to the root of the problem. 

So, lets delve a little deeper into the kind of questions you need to address when trying to diagnose the problem.

The who
Who is the target audience? 
Why is it important to them? 
Why do they care? 

The what
What does this project need to communicate? 
What is the key message?
How should they feel?

This is often where clients have a lot to say and its important to prioritise the message — this shows your value and gives clarity.

The how
How will the message be shown? 
In what context? 
What part of the sale is the user in?

Users will display a different mentality at different parts of the sales funnel — they're ready to buy or they need to be informed . For example; Is this pre-launch? You'll have 5 seconds to get them excited or they'll skip the ad. At this stage of the kickoff meeting you should have identified the challenge. You know now what to say, who to say it to and how you need to say it.

Hang fire! There is still one more step that is really important. At first, I felt I had enough information to take away and design some possible solutions. But, I used to start doubting things and getting brain fog. Why? because there were still so many ways to design a solution to what we had learnt so far. The next stage helps to eliminate the doubt you may have still.

Limit design experimentation

Problem solving takes a lot of time and effort so it's important to establish the criteria as early as possible. This helps to narrow down a design solution rather than guessing what the client wants.

In all honesty this is quite difficult and starts to open a can of worms but it's worth doing. By understanding what it can look like and what tone of voice can be used it helps set the scene — elegant, energetic, fun — by getting the clients definition gives further clarity on what direction to take the design ideas. 

Here is an example of a recent project I have taken on...

What can it look like
Isometric illustrations only
Avoid photographic imagery 
Background colour is brand blue
The page needs to breath. Avoid clutter. 

What is the tone of voice
Fun but informative — we want to tell the story through illustrations which can animate and provide a friendly, approachable impression.

Let's wrap it up

By defining the goal, diagnosing the problem and limiting the possible design solutions you will have a narrow target to hit. You should design using these 3 steps and the end result will come easier to you and even more valuable to your client. Win Win!

No items found.
UX Design

3 valuable ways to avoid wasting time chasing bad ideas

Every design project begins with a kickoff meeting and its such a critical moment in any design project or competitive pitch. Your objective in the meetings is to gather information so you can walk away and create an effective design solution.

The kickoff meeting sets the course and tone for the entire project. If you don't get this right, the ideas you generate could be irrelevant and a complete waste of time.

To avoid wasting time chasing bad ideas, you MUST do the following three things.

Define the goal

First of all. What is the project? What are the requirements? By this we mean, what does it need to do?

From my experience the client knows what they want but its often a GRAND plan. This is great but, you need to help them prioritise what the ultimate goal of the project is. To do this you should come up with ONE simple, focused sentence. 

“The landing page will educate consumers about order management”
"The online campaign should intensify the latest sneaker release"

Once you have the goal written up, you need understand whats blocking the client? What is in the way of them achieving their goal? This leads us onto the next stage of the kickoff meeting.

Diagnose the problem

Web design is, and always will be, about problem-solving. With every project you will encounter a set of challenges. Its your job as a designer to uncover the current issues and surface them to the client.

In order to understand the challenges, you must diagnose the problem by solving; the who, how and what is causing it? This is often the challenging part in my experience because a lot of companies don't know who there customers are — they aren't focused on who they are targeting. Nevertheless its our job to help them get to the root of the problem. 

So, lets delve a little deeper into the kind of questions you need to address when trying to diagnose the problem.

The who
Who is the target audience? 
Why is it important to them? 
Why do they care? 

The what
What does this project need to communicate? 
What is the key message?
How should they feel?

This is often where clients have a lot to say and its important to prioritise the message — this shows your value and gives clarity.

The how
How will the message be shown? 
In what context? 
What part of the sale is the user in?

Users will display a different mentality at different parts of the sales funnel — they're ready to buy or they need to be informed . For example; Is this pre-launch? You'll have 5 seconds to get them excited or they'll skip the ad. At this stage of the kickoff meeting you should have identified the challenge. You know now what to say, who to say it to and how you need to say it.

Hang fire! There is still one more step that is really important. At first, I felt I had enough information to take away and design some possible solutions. But, I used to start doubting things and getting brain fog. Why? because there were still so many ways to design a solution to what we had learnt so far. The next stage helps to eliminate the doubt you may have still.

Limit design experimentation

Problem solving takes a lot of time and effort so it's important to establish the criteria as early as possible. This helps to narrow down a design solution rather than guessing what the client wants.

In all honesty this is quite difficult and starts to open a can of worms but it's worth doing. By understanding what it can look like and what tone of voice can be used it helps set the scene — elegant, energetic, fun — by getting the clients definition gives further clarity on what direction to take the design ideas. 

Here is an example of a recent project I have taken on...

What can it look like
Isometric illustrations only
Avoid photographic imagery 
Background colour is brand blue
The page needs to breath. Avoid clutter. 

What is the tone of voice
Fun but informative — we want to tell the story through illustrations which can animate and provide a friendly, approachable impression.

Let's wrap it up

By defining the goal, diagnosing the problem and limiting the possible design solutions you will have a narrow target to hit. You should design using these 3 steps and the end result will come easier to you and even more valuable to your client. Win Win!

No items found.

Every design project begins with a kickoff meeting and its such a critical moment in any design project or competitive pitch. Your objective in the meetings is to gather information so you can walk away and create an effective design solution.

The kickoff meeting sets the course and tone for the entire project. If you don't get this right, the ideas you generate could be irrelevant and a complete waste of time.

To avoid wasting time chasing bad ideas, you MUST do the following three things.

Define the goal

First of all. What is the project? What are the requirements? By this we mean, what does it need to do?

From my experience the client knows what they want but its often a GRAND plan. This is great but, you need to help them prioritise what the ultimate goal of the project is. To do this you should come up with ONE simple, focused sentence. 

“The landing page will educate consumers about order management”
"The online campaign should intensify the latest sneaker release"

Once you have the goal written up, you need understand whats blocking the client? What is in the way of them achieving their goal? This leads us onto the next stage of the kickoff meeting.

Diagnose the problem

Web design is, and always will be, about problem-solving. With every project you will encounter a set of challenges. Its your job as a designer to uncover the current issues and surface them to the client.

In order to understand the challenges, you must diagnose the problem by solving; the who, how and what is causing it? This is often the challenging part in my experience because a lot of companies don't know who there customers are — they aren't focused on who they are targeting. Nevertheless its our job to help them get to the root of the problem. 

So, lets delve a little deeper into the kind of questions you need to address when trying to diagnose the problem.

The who
Who is the target audience? 
Why is it important to them? 
Why do they care? 

The what
What does this project need to communicate? 
What is the key message?
How should they feel?

This is often where clients have a lot to say and its important to prioritise the message — this shows your value and gives clarity.

The how
How will the message be shown? 
In what context? 
What part of the sale is the user in?

Users will display a different mentality at different parts of the sales funnel — they're ready to buy or they need to be informed . For example; Is this pre-launch? You'll have 5 seconds to get them excited or they'll skip the ad. At this stage of the kickoff meeting you should have identified the challenge. You know now what to say, who to say it to and how you need to say it.

Hang fire! There is still one more step that is really important. At first, I felt I had enough information to take away and design some possible solutions. But, I used to start doubting things and getting brain fog. Why? because there were still so many ways to design a solution to what we had learnt so far. The next stage helps to eliminate the doubt you may have still.

Limit design experimentation

Problem solving takes a lot of time and effort so it's important to establish the criteria as early as possible. This helps to narrow down a design solution rather than guessing what the client wants.

In all honesty this is quite difficult and starts to open a can of worms but it's worth doing. By understanding what it can look like and what tone of voice can be used it helps set the scene — elegant, energetic, fun — by getting the clients definition gives further clarity on what direction to take the design ideas. 

Here is an example of a recent project I have taken on...

What can it look like
Isometric illustrations only
Avoid photographic imagery 
Background colour is brand blue
The page needs to breath. Avoid clutter. 

What is the tone of voice
Fun but informative — we want to tell the story through illustrations which can animate and provide a friendly, approachable impression.

Let's wrap it up

By defining the goal, diagnosing the problem and limiting the possible design solutions you will have a narrow target to hit. You should design using these 3 steps and the end result will come easier to you and even more valuable to your client. Win Win!

UX Design

3 valuable ways to avoid wasting time chasing bad ideas

Every design project begins with a kickoff meeting and its such a critical moment in any design project or competitive pitch. Your objective in the meetings is to gather information so you can walk away and create an effective design solution.

The kickoff meeting sets the course and tone for the entire project. If you don't get this right, the ideas you generate could be irrelevant and a complete waste of time.

To avoid wasting time chasing bad ideas, you MUST do the following three things.

Define the goal

First of all. What is the project? What are the requirements? By this we mean, what does it need to do?

From my experience the client knows what they want but its often a GRAND plan. This is great but, you need to help them prioritise what the ultimate goal of the project is. To do this you should come up with ONE simple, focused sentence. 

“The landing page will educate consumers about order management”
"The online campaign should intensify the latest sneaker release"

Once you have the goal written up, you need understand whats blocking the client? What is in the way of them achieving their goal? This leads us onto the next stage of the kickoff meeting.

Diagnose the problem

Web design is, and always will be, about problem-solving. With every project you will encounter a set of challenges. Its your job as a designer to uncover the current issues and surface them to the client.

In order to understand the challenges, you must diagnose the problem by solving; the who, how and what is causing it? This is often the challenging part in my experience because a lot of companies don't know who there customers are — they aren't focused on who they are targeting. Nevertheless its our job to help them get to the root of the problem. 

So, lets delve a little deeper into the kind of questions you need to address when trying to diagnose the problem.

The who
Who is the target audience? 
Why is it important to them? 
Why do they care? 

The what
What does this project need to communicate? 
What is the key message?
How should they feel?

This is often where clients have a lot to say and its important to prioritise the message — this shows your value and gives clarity.

The how
How will the message be shown? 
In what context? 
What part of the sale is the user in?

Users will display a different mentality at different parts of the sales funnel — they're ready to buy or they need to be informed . For example; Is this pre-launch? You'll have 5 seconds to get them excited or they'll skip the ad. At this stage of the kickoff meeting you should have identified the challenge. You know now what to say, who to say it to and how you need to say it.

Hang fire! There is still one more step that is really important. At first, I felt I had enough information to take away and design some possible solutions. But, I used to start doubting things and getting brain fog. Why? because there were still so many ways to design a solution to what we had learnt so far. The next stage helps to eliminate the doubt you may have still.

Limit design experimentation

Problem solving takes a lot of time and effort so it's important to establish the criteria as early as possible. This helps to narrow down a design solution rather than guessing what the client wants.

In all honesty this is quite difficult and starts to open a can of worms but it's worth doing. By understanding what it can look like and what tone of voice can be used it helps set the scene — elegant, energetic, fun — by getting the clients definition gives further clarity on what direction to take the design ideas. 

Here is an example of a recent project I have taken on...

What can it look like
Isometric illustrations only
Avoid photographic imagery 
Background colour is brand blue
The page needs to breath. Avoid clutter. 

What is the tone of voice
Fun but informative — we want to tell the story through illustrations which can animate and provide a friendly, approachable impression.

Let's wrap it up

By defining the goal, diagnosing the problem and limiting the possible design solutions you will have a narrow target to hit. You should design using these 3 steps and the end result will come easier to you and even more valuable to your client. Win Win!

Every design project begins with a kickoff meeting and its such a critical moment in any design project or competitive pitch. Your objective in the meetings is to gather information so you can walk away and create an effective design solution.

The kickoff meeting sets the course and tone for the entire project. If you don't get this right, the ideas you generate could be irrelevant and a complete waste of time.

To avoid wasting time chasing bad ideas, you MUST do the following three things.

Define the goal

First of all. What is the project? What are the requirements? By this we mean, what does it need to do?

From my experience the client knows what they want but its often a GRAND plan. This is great but, you need to help them prioritise what the ultimate goal of the project is. To do this you should come up with ONE simple, focused sentence. 

“The landing page will educate consumers about order management”
"The online campaign should intensify the latest sneaker release"

Once you have the goal written up, you need understand whats blocking the client? What is in the way of them achieving their goal? This leads us onto the next stage of the kickoff meeting.

Diagnose the problem

Web design is, and always will be, about problem-solving. With every project you will encounter a set of challenges. Its your job as a designer to uncover the current issues and surface them to the client.

In order to understand the challenges, you must diagnose the problem by solving; the who, how and what is causing it? This is often the challenging part in my experience because a lot of companies don't know who there customers are — they aren't focused on who they are targeting. Nevertheless its our job to help them get to the root of the problem. 

So, lets delve a little deeper into the kind of questions you need to address when trying to diagnose the problem.

The who
Who is the target audience? 
Why is it important to them? 
Why do they care? 

The what
What does this project need to communicate? 
What is the key message?
How should they feel?

This is often where clients have a lot to say and its important to prioritise the message — this shows your value and gives clarity.

The how
How will the message be shown? 
In what context? 
What part of the sale is the user in?

Users will display a different mentality at different parts of the sales funnel — they're ready to buy or they need to be informed . For example; Is this pre-launch? You'll have 5 seconds to get them excited or they'll skip the ad. At this stage of the kickoff meeting you should have identified the challenge. You know now what to say, who to say it to and how you need to say it.

Hang fire! There is still one more step that is really important. At first, I felt I had enough information to take away and design some possible solutions. But, I used to start doubting things and getting brain fog. Why? because there were still so many ways to design a solution to what we had learnt so far. The next stage helps to eliminate the doubt you may have still.

Limit design experimentation

Problem solving takes a lot of time and effort so it's important to establish the criteria as early as possible. This helps to narrow down a design solution rather than guessing what the client wants.

In all honesty this is quite difficult and starts to open a can of worms but it's worth doing. By understanding what it can look like and what tone of voice can be used it helps set the scene — elegant, energetic, fun — by getting the clients definition gives further clarity on what direction to take the design ideas. 

Here is an example of a recent project I have taken on...

What can it look like
Isometric illustrations only
Avoid photographic imagery 
Background colour is brand blue
The page needs to breath. Avoid clutter. 

What is the tone of voice
Fun but informative — we want to tell the story through illustrations which can animate and provide a friendly, approachable impression.

Let's wrap it up

By defining the goal, diagnosing the problem and limiting the possible design solutions you will have a narrow target to hit. You should design using these 3 steps and the end result will come easier to you and even more valuable to your client. Win Win!

Hello, I’m Becky Birch, a UX design consultant based in Manchester. I hope you enjoy reading my blog.

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