How Do You Begin the Design Process?

April 2, 2010
Most people tend to be unaware of the research process designers go through to achieve our end result. That's why I thought it would be interesting to share the design process we go through at Insivia as well as explain some of the techniques I use to brainstorm and generate ideas for projects.

Step 1: Research the Client
The process starts with understanding the client and the problem. That's everything and anything about the client's goals, values and overall history. This is usually achieved through a detailed Q & A session with the client which is then used to produce a strategic recommendation guide/design brief that focuses attention on the areas that will best serve the client. This step lays the groundwork for any project that will lead to a successful end result.

Step 2: The Brainstorming Process
This is the where I start to take what we've learned from Step 1 and begin to see how it all needs to be communicated through their design. After an overall message is established, I start to compile a list of relevant words, ideas and images. Some are abstract and loose while others are more direct and closely related. Oftentimes I use mind maps and semantic analysis to organize and and explore how these words, ideas and images are related and connected. The overall goal is to gain a broadened perspective of the problem that I'm attempting to solve, and I often stumble upon great ideas and concepts that weren't so obvious at the outset. This then leads to sketching and further brainstorming. This step helps to be more efficient and weed out mediocre ideas and concepts for stronger ones.

Design is all about communicating a message, so in order to effectively communicate that message, a designer needs to understand who they're designing for and then be able to translate that research into a unique visual solution that engages the viewer. These two steps separate ok designs from great ones. A lot of designers feel it's fine to skip over or cut corners when it comes to research and effective brainstorming, and I'm positive its evident in their end results. Insivia takes pride in the strategic part of our design process and feels it sets us apart from the rest.

Below are some links on different brainstorming techniques.

Make a mind map in 8 steps

10 ways mind mapping can help creative minds

About Insivia

We're a SaaS Growth Agency scaling SaaS & technology companies through brand positioning, integrated marketing, web design, sales and retention.