Why It’s Important for Businesses to define Design Goals

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We’re proud to announce that we recently got another Clutch review as well as getting on the company rankings on the Manifest for the year 2021. It was a web design and development project for an illustration and media company (co-founded by ex- Editor- in – Chief, DC Comics) and came out as a success.

 

design goals

 

What we wanted to focus on for this blog is one of the comments that our client mentioned in the review:

We had a vision of how we wanted the website to look and it actually came out that way, so we know they really paid attention.

The quote had us thinking, is there a way for development teams to consistently understand exactly what their clients want and make it a reality? We thought long and hard about it, and the answer is yes.

Understand Understanding With Design Goals

design goals

 

The key to understanding what a client is looking for is through defining design goals. These are clear and measurable objectives that exist within the project.

 

All too often, companies will want a thing without thinking through what that thing will be made of. For example, a client wants a website that looks “nice”, “modern”, or “fits their brand”. None of that is useful information.

 

It’s part of our job as developers, to guide our clients towards using concrete nouns when describing the project. Things like “blue color palette”, “no dropdown menus”, or “a gallery of images front and center”.

 

Additionally, things like “increasing sales” and “reducing bounce rate” are project goals. They are not design goals, and they will not help in this particular situation.

What is Vague?

design goals

 

There are three things that a design goal should be: measurable, not a project goal, and not vague. The first two are straightforward enough, but third (true to its meaning) is harder to classify.

 

The threshold of what is and isn’t vague is a case-to-case basis. For niche markets like a baby product retailer in California for example, the statement “something that appeals to our market” is fine. Their market is new parents in California. The same can’t be said for services that everyone uses like banks.

 

The best way to know if something is vague or not is to take the statement and the nature of the company and see if visualize a clear picture in your mind when you combine them.

Working Backwards

Now that we know what design goals are, how do we help clients articulate them. There are many ways to do this, but in our experience, the simplest one is to work backward.

 

Start with what they know, which are the project goals, then move it back towards a business goal, then you can move into the design goal. We’ll use a simple e-commerce website to illustrate this point.

 

The project goal is to increase sales. In order to achieve that, they need more people to pick an item and then click the Complete Transaction button – that’s the business goal. Put the items and all their information on the first page, that’s the design goal.

 

Break everything down into small concrete tasks and slowly build up towards the thing you actually want to achieve.

 

When it comes to design and development, understanding is half the battle. We’ve already proven that we can understand our clients, let us understand you. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll see if we can bring your vision to life.

 


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