Understand the crowd & Build a masterpiece.
Designers Should be able to take the desk-research beyond and above! Building a pioneer digital products is not something easy to achieve these days, so please don’t reinvent the wheel.
The power of desk research for designers could be noticed clearly on the output of a couple of stages:
First, The Conceptual Model.
During the ideation stage it helps them to figure out the perfect concept, it assists them in connecting the dots by looking on what previously had been done around the world, to cover the uncertainty through watching, analyzing and digging deep inside the minds of the others.
Second, The Interface Level.
It is the visible part. The more you watch, the deeper you dig, the faster you visualize, the better you do. You need to train your brain to visualize things, that requires tonnes of visual memories.
Now let’s move for the best practices to build an impactful mood-board.
Defining the art direction within a specific sector (through analyzing the direct competitors within the product sector) help you to understand the pros and cons of each competitor art direction choose.
That clarifies for you lots of information related to the voice and tone and the target audience segments, which might affect your final decision to go with a specific art-direction by the end.
Here you need to answer a few questions (note for self):
- What is the art direction?
- How it helps the competitor to connect with the audience on social media?
- How it reflects the real brand image, and the nature of the business, providing services?
- How is this art-direction aligned with the competitor’s brand image and voice and tone?
- What is the core message the competitor tries to deliver through choosing this art direction, especially?
“Art Direction controls the brand visual appearance in front of its consumers. it is the fundamental block of the brand image and the level of trust, joy people feel about a specific competitor.”
Understanding conceptual modal means a lot. Here you are trying to answer one question:
“Why it was built like this?”
One simple question will make you understand the rational concept behind the entire solution navigation, linking, components, structure, voice and tone, and driving the user through a specific flow to take or do a specific action or task that might affect the entire platform value or even a system efficiency rate.
Do you know the “5 Whys?” Feel free to use it here! Try to figure out a deeper connection between everything, every single time!
To achieve the best results, you need to break your product into features. Moreover, Break down the features into smaller parts, so for example, if we are talking about a booking platform, it means we have a booking feature (to book a room) the booking feature at some point have a calendar where the end-user can select a specific date. That was an example but breaking things down, and this gives you more freedom while building the mood-boards, or lighting demos. Which you can rely on your during the next stages.
For sure you know about the atomic design system, you need to break down your design into atoms and search about other designs atoms. Look for the typography level, look for a for controls, look for the inputs of your form and search for the smallest atom of your designs, search for it, learn from it and start where other ends.
There are too many design elements, which were designed and shaped based on visual and artistic values, numbers, and principles. It is essential to define the core principles for the different design aspects from the very beginning, and to convert them into numbers and to keep them as the core / fundamental layer of your design. That might affect your search behavior and define what you need to figure out.
It is not about the currently available solutions only. The history of changes plays a fundamental role here. In the aim to not build an old version of a specific competitor’s solution and to understand the present, we need to understand the past, the history of specific product design and the changes which he leads to the current version.
That could help you to understand the conceptual model profoundly and not to make the same mistakes they did in the past.
As a Designer, you need to think about all the different product dimension, including the business ones. The most crucial part to understand which will clarify lots of valid and impactful points is the story of adoption, how and why the users adopted this particular product “competitor in this case.” during analyzing these kinds of information you need to think about:
- What was the product advantage for users?
- What motivated them to use it?
- What is our wow-factor / if there are any?
- How might we put our selves in a better competing position?
- & More
Knowledge is what makes you a perfect designer, and desk research for designers plays a fundamental role while it comes to knowledge!
Thanks for your time reading this article,