In this article, Nina describes that, although customers often want to see the developed screens quickly, it is important in the initial phase of a project to extensively develop the concept instead of immediately moving on to the design. This is because, through her experience as a designer, she has learned how important it is to challenge the concept of a project and invest time in its development. By following this approach, the final result can better meet the needs and requirements of the customer and a solid foundation can be laid for the further development of the project.
At the beginning of a large (design) project, it is still possible to resist diving into the design of screens immediately, but when it comes to smaller features or improvements, this becomes more challenging. In addition, customers often want to see something specific as soon as possible, which comes down to designing screens.
In this phase, it is important to invest time in developing a concept, in order to prevent later losing a lot of time and money on adjusting designs that do not align with the original goals of the project.
A good concept design is based on three crucial elements: the user, the business and market, and the technical possibilities. As a designer, gathering input on these elements and using it to develop a concept is essential. Benchmarking and gathering user feedback is crucial in this process. It is impossible to know for certain what the customer wants, so it is recommended to ask for feedback from the customer directly.
For me, the most underestimated benefit of the concept phase is obtaining a clear overview of how a certain feature is related to other projects. Especially in large companies where different projects are being worked on simultaneously, this is extremely important to ensure consistency and maintain flexibility. Communication plays a crucial role here by keeping the right stakeholders informed and involving them in projects on time, in order to gain internal buy-in and avoid surprises.