The fundamental question
This post originally appeared on my Medium page
During the last couple of years, I have been bouncing between solid, well established job in an agency or a startup and less stable position as a freelance user experience and visual designer. Working with different people in different environments, I have learned one thing: being a good designer is all about asking questions early and often.
A lot of clients come to me asking to do some kind of design work for them and some of them don’t understand when I ask the most important question: “Why?”. I also met a lot of designers that don’t ask enough questions during the project or would like to do so, but don’t really know where to start.
“Why?” is the first and the most fundamental question that you should ask when starting, because it’s really simple to ask and - from my experience so far - really hard to answer. You can ask a lot of follow up questions later, but people usually respond to early “Why?” with a gut reaction answer that gives you a head start of bringing you really close to their goals and ambitions. It also puts them out of the comfort zone a bit, since most will expect you to jump straight into drawing instead of asking awkward questions, often yielding unexpected answers and reactions.
Asking “Why?” is a great conversation starter and the answer can be a beginning of a great story - about the business, objectives and ideas behind the entire company. And since every great product starts with a story, go ask awkward questions and design amazing things.
My Behance portfolio (as well as my website) has been updated with small case study on logo and web design process behind Anynines. I have been working with the guys at Avarteq to create a simple, memorable logo for their cloud hosting service for developers as well as simple web design for their beta product.