Your business plan is ready, you know how your product should work, and your expectations are set. You have explored similar services and products. Understood or tried to understand how they work, found inspiration, and got ideas for improvement. And hopefully, you also considered a design. You liked some, disliked others. But why? It is colors, shapes, feeling, size, fonts, or simply you just like it.
The important thing is that you should care about the design the same way you care about all the other parts of your business and product development. A lot of clients don't, and that's a mistake. Let's look at how the design is done and what you can do to make your users happy.
First impression matter
Maybe you are not building a new thing, just looking for a redesign because you know your product needs a little update, it's old and ugly, or the user experience is painful, but people want to use it.
Did you know that users find better-designed products working better even if they don't? Poorly designed things suck, especially when you need to make that first impression. But we're here to help you. So how to create a design we all can be proud of? And how can you help us impress your users?
How design is done
So how do we create a design? You tell us what you want, and we put the pixels together, add colors, and it's basically done. You wish! At Ackee, we have an experienced design team, and we are going to use it. We have both UX and UI designers, we do research and design, and we as well have an in-house team of developers who bring it to life.
To create the best user experience and design we need to understand two things fully – your business and its users. We will go through this over meetings or workshops where we will ask questions that you will answer. Easy. And if you don't know all the answers, don't worry. It is our job to find them using various research methods.
It all starts with the design brief
We usually start with a design brief, a set of questions you'll need to answer. It's about your product, business, target users and design. Simple questions that you probably have already answered for yourself. If not, that's your homework before our first kick-off meeting. We are definitely going to need those answers by then.
When all the questions are answered, we can start designing. If something is not clear, we have a couple of workshops and research methods up our sleeves, like value proposition workshops, user interviews, usability testing and so on. At this point, we might not be done with questions. We discuss things a lot during the creation process.
This process is usually based on users' data, our experience and client's knowledge. It is more than just creating something nice that our clients or we like. Clients pay a lot of money, and they want to have it their way, but we always try to find a compromise – create something that also users like and want to use. Win-win.
Even though we are creating a product for our clients, it is not a reason to build it exactly as they like it. We are also not designing it just for us to showcase it. The most important are, of course, our beloved users. Sure, know the market, your competition and similar products, but have in mind your target users might have different needs and expectations. So always know your target group. At the end of the day, it is communication and sharing every relevant information that is crucial.
Designing the best UX and UI
While creating the design, clients are mostly interested in wireframes and the final design. The main purpose of wireframes is to demonstrate functionality and how content is organized and prioritized. So when discussing wireframes know that they will not just be colored, and that's it for creating the user interface (UI). You want the best user experience (UX). That's why we'll in this phase discuss how things are going to work, not look like.
When we're all okay with that, we move to the nextpart – designing the UI. That's where we'll go through the visual side of the product, how big elements will be, their colors, shapes, which font we'll use and so on. Clients have their expectations of how the final product should look like. We often hear "something simple and minimalistic" or apps like Airbnb, Instagram or any competition that looks the best.
That's good to know, but it's also good to go a little further. You might want to break it up into smaller pieces:
- Which fonts specifically do you like? What kind of colors design styles, sizes, contrast?
- Googling the best apps or website design is fine, but also – look through the magazines, books, art or anything visual. It doesn't even have to be a digital product. It can be from an offline world too.
- Our designers create moodboards before they start working on something, so maybe create one for yourself too.
And never forget the user. We create the products for them. Even though we like how Spotify looks so much and we want something like it, if your target group is teenage girls, we need to consider the difference between users.
The secret of the best design: Trust (and a design system)
First, we'll give you a sneak peek and a few screens of how the design would look like. That's where we need to hear you, what you like and don't like, and why. It might not be easy sometimes, but we need to understand to make something you, and your users, are going to like.
What is also very important is to trust us. The design process is also based on our experience – we are not just placing things around the screen and using colors or sizing randomly. We create a design system that saves time, energy and money.
The design needs to make sense for the user, that's our primary goal. The product's look helps the UX too, so don't worry – we'll make it look good too.
Final words? While creating a design for your app, web or whatever you are building, focus on your users and trust a designer. We know what we are doing.