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Five essential activities to launch your design direction

From Blank Page To Brilliance Five Essential Activities To Launch Your Design Direction

by Yasmin El-Amery

Find out how we build digital success and craft impactful design directions.

A brand's digital identity needs to be confident and impactful right from the get-go. But when faced with a blank page, crafting the initial digital expression of your brand can feel daunting, particularly for those taking their first steps. 

We've been faced with this challenge countless times. To show you how we’ve overcome this hurdle, in this piece, we share our toolkit for launching a powerful digital design direction – no digital experience necessary. So, gather your team and creative spirit, because we're embarking on a strategic roadmap to success.

Audience insights and creative exploration

Before navigating the first pixel, a deep dive into existing audience insights is crucial. Strategists' reports and UX intel are vital for understanding users and shaping our design principles. This information is the bedrock of our understanding, informing design principles that guide every decision and ensuring the final direction resonates with the target audience.

"How might we" exploration

With these principles, we can then focus on the "how might we" questions. These spark creative exploration, transforming challenges into opportunities. From “how might we evolve colour palettes for user interfaces?” to “how might we leverage motion and interaction for reassurance?” these questions become the creative catapults for our next steps.

Pushing boundaries 

”How might we” is not the only exploration we need to undertake, we also need to gather inspiration from inside and outside the sector we’re working in, delving into initial design explorations, and prioritising accessibility at every step. This will ensure that our solutions are inclusive, adaptable and that they meet both the brand's goals and the needs of their audiences.

Collaborative workshop 

Now, it's time to join forces! We need to bring together the core team, key stakeholders and guardians of the brand (this might be our creative studio, a client-side representative or another agency). This workshop becomes a vibrant forum for exchanging ideas. We can analyse industry benchmarks, map the competitive landscape, and unveil our "how might we" explorations for feedback. Witnessing these initial reactions is invaluable, showing us the way to a resonating first-draft design direction.

Design time

Here, the culmination of our efforts arrives – the design direction itself! The form it takes – prototype pages, component concepts, or annotated style tiles – is tailored to the client's needs. But regardless of the format, one thing must remain constant: a tangible vision. This roadmap charts the course for the brand's digital future, a collaborative creation infused with strategic insights and creative energy.

Building confidence and collaboration

Some might question our depth of pre-workshop preparation. Why design before the grand huddle? The answer lies in the confidence it instils. By laying the groundwork, we arrive at the workshop not with anxieties but with a wealth of ideas and a clear understanding of the brand's aspirations. This fosters a collaborative atmosphere where ownership is shared, and excitement for the journey ahead flourishes.

So, there you have it – our recipe for crafting impactful design directions, even for digital novices. Through a solid foundation in research, clear guiding principles, and a spirit of exploration are the essential ingredients, everyone can design with confidence, knowing they’ve equipped their brand with a roadmap to digital success.

Yasmin El-Amery's avatar

Yasmin El-Amery

Design Lead

Contact Yasmin

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