Why designing in silo is a waste of time


If you ever worked on a brief before you have defined together with the client the overall purpose and goal of the project - you probably know the feeling of designing in the dark.

If you ever spent time working on a project, only to return to your client - and they don’t “get it" - you probably know the feeling of trying to “sell” your ideas.

In this scenario - everyone loses.

How to avoid this:

Be precise in framing the challenge and aim for realistic outcomes.

Without a clear sense of direction and strong foundation- anything you will build can be trashed and rebuilt without a need to explain why.

Not only the client needs to understand and agree on the framework you are working in. You and the team need a northern star or blueprint which will guide the project. This is a place to return to and evaluate the progress of the project.

Now I am not saying everything is analytical and rational. We still need to apply creativity, but informed intuition is much stronger than gut intuition.

When defining strategies and creating brand experiences, it’s not about wowing your client. That big reveal moment, where you defend, sell and upsell your ideas to the client is often considered an ideal but in fact is highly overrated.

Instead: try to co-create, collaborate, set small milestones, and iterate.

Set business goals and reach them by creating the right tools, (products, services or brand identities).

Agree on a research-based rationale to judge any feedback: “Here’s what the research has shown, here’s what your competition is doing, here is what we agreed our business goals are.” If you don’t do that, you’re running the risk of paying in time and money to patch gaps down the line.

Design should be backed by empirical evidence, meaningful proof points and parameters to guide decision making. Not just a big brief in the sky.

karin folmanComment