Design Starts When?

Design is not the last thing you do. In fact, as a designer, you should be there at the very beginning of a project. If you think design begins at the end then you need to change the way you think. If the team you work with thinks that design starts at the end you need to change the way they think.

It is true that you sometimes cannot be there at the beginning, depending on the product; but, if it is possible then you should be there at the beginning.

For instance, you’re designing the interface of some new highly interactive spiffy program. If you start at the end of the process you’re going to have to basically go back to the very beginning, and by this time the business owners are already tired of talking to the developers, and ask pretty near the same questions that the developers asked. The difference being is that the answers you need are geared towards presentation and a developers answers will be gear towards functionality.

Just remember, something as simple as the mouse cursor, the thing most people use to figure out if something is click-able, can throw off the entire design.

No one wants to have to answer the same sets of questions over and over and this is what you will be asking them to do. If you’re there from the beginning you’ll get a much better response, you won’t face as many road blocks from developers because they had to go back and change some small thing that ends up causing a massive code rewrite, you’ll have a better idea of color scheme, architecture, style, and how to successfully combine functionality with art.

If you’re a start the design at the end type person work on changing how you think. If you’re team is a start the design at the end work on changing how they think. If you and your team are both start at the end type people then working on changing your way of thinking and use this time to start working on their way of thinking.

Are you a start design at the end or the beginning type person?


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