That is often a question I will ask a client to get the ball rolling–a question I have been asked many times too. People tend to process visually based off of what we see in the world. The majority of humans, around 65%, are visual learners. What is seen is a great way to share information. This visual experience can sometime be mysterious when trying to understand minimalistic design concepts coming from a creative department.
Not everyone thinks visually (Really? Who knew?). This can be a challenge for a designer when developing something to be seen. The concept of explaining a design is not as simple as it sounds. It has been said many times, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but a thousand words from me still may not convey the same thing a sketch on a napkin would.
A long time ago when I was young in my career, someone said to me, “I’ll know it when I see it.” While that statement helped me little initially, it did help me to understand one thing–If you have eyes, you receive visual information. And that input helps make the final decision. Getting what a client wants or needs is a result of research, analysis, and experience. Creating a layout that surprises, shocks, inspires or initiates thought is the desired result in any given design project.
Sometimes a client may not know what they need, however, it is amazing when presented with an option, they can [usually] put a finger on it immediately and say “Yes that’s what I am looking for” or “No, I don’t like that.” The most important aspect of this process is not the approval, but the engagement of getting someone thinking and responding. It allows both parties to engage and be more productive.
How you design information can have a big impact when it is viewed. Often a really good design looks like it has not received a great deal of attention (i.e. looks basic, simple). Little does the viewer know how many minute adjustments were made, or how much time was used to polish the final product. They just look and say “yes.” A good design often calls little attention and leaves the viewer to consume the visual information with ease.
I have worked on visual translating to help a client in this creation process. It is not something complex. It can start with some very simple questions. Questions like “Blue like the sky or like a blueberry?” or “What is the one thing you are trying to explain to your potential customers?” Direct questions engage the mind and help point the designers in a more accurate direction.
Designing, like any other process, can be a straight shot or a winding path. When done with skill the end result will be a success. Getting there together with the client, is a greater success!