10 of 10. How has evidence-based design changed client delivery?

Evidence-based design is a technique when the development of identity or packaging is strategically approached, excluding any subjectivity from the client or agency. We have developed a methodology «evidence-based design» in the creative design agency «Moloko». With this technique, we were able to avoid such moments when customers endlessly made edits and were guided in evaluating the work exclusively by the “like / dislike” categories. We have come to a properly set work process, where 10 orders = 10 accepted works.

What is evidence-based design?

It is design based on facts and conclusions, but not on the emotions and judgments of individual designers or customers.

It all starts with the customers.

Completely different customers come to designers or agencies. Of course, it’s hard to refuse real clients. We all need money, so it is necessary to learn how to listen to the customer. The first part of evidence-based design is gathering information. We start collecting information by communicating with the client and asking the right questions.

Many people will say that we always ask questions. But the customer does not always accept the work. This means that the questions are not always asked correctly. From the base you need to get information on the following blocks: the requirement, timing, and why are exactly you. These are the basics that will allow you to better understand customer intent.

The essence of pre-project communication is to understand the customer and his needs. You should prepare a resume following the interview. Yes, it will take time, but we know that this document is one of the most important for future work. Customers tend to say a lot of things but then change their words. So it is very important to capture the data in the resume.

You must exclude the possibility that the customer can evade the question. You can often observe a situation when you ask something, for example, do you like the gradients on the packaging of competitors, and in response you get — I am not an expert, I do not know or you will tell me. This situation should not happen. The question “like” or “dislike” does not affect future work in any way. It only helps to understand in which visual field the customer is. It helps to understand which visual field the client is in. Then you can properly demonstrate the evidence base.

As soon as everything is recorded and you understand what you need to do, the main work begins.

Design research and analytics.

Design research is the most important step in evidence-based design. After we have found out everything from the customer, we do not immediately go to draw, design and invent. We аre going on a long journey on the market. At this stage, our task is to collect information that will allow us to prepare the factual basis for further work. You will need to rely on the factual base when communicating with the customer.

The analysis consists of the following basic blocks.

If it’s a logo, we analyze color, shape, fonts, and ideas. All data is collected in a separate table so that you can immediately see the temperature throughout the market. By forming a conclusion, you get undeniable facts that allow you to talk more confidently with the customer and help him build a strong product.

from our research on medical center logos

If the packaging is developed in design research, then we analyze colors, and fonts, build a virtual shelf with goods (local and foreign markets), and look at what marketing hooks are used on the packaging. As a result, all this is put together in a big picture to see the whole market at once and then the actual base for the client is prepared.

Design research helps to better understand what kind of product you need to create

The results of the design research are drawn up so that the customer can see the trends, free color sectors on the market, and the main forms, and can comprehensively look at the entire market. As a result, the client also receives information about what needs to be done to solve exactly his problem. For example, if the goal is to stand out on the shelf, then the customer will receive clear data on differentiation from competitors in terms of colors, presentation format, and selling elements that should be placed on the package. If it is a logo and a launch of a new company on the market, then the information will be given on which shapes and colors should not be used, a summary of foreign markets will also be provided and there will be a summary of trends.

Presenting the design research before working out the concepts or taking them off together is an individual decision in each case.

Development and presentation of concepts.

Having conclusions on any task, the entire creative group has no question «How to make it work?». Collected texture allows you to create a product in which all stakeholders will be assured.

The presentation process itself is also important. This is special magic. We have created a presentation system for the customer so that we do not slip into subjectivity. Each slide in the presentation should answer questions that are important for the customer.

If it is important to stand out on the shelf, then we will first analyze the packaging of competitors, and then we will build the customer’s product into the virtual shelf. We’ll show him how it might look. If this is a logo, then we will show how it can work in a competitive environment, for example, if two stores are located next to each other or advertisements for medical centers are close to each other.

All subjectivism itself disappears as soon as the customer receives the facts, market analysis, and decision. The customer looks at the solution objectively. He accepts it, realizing that he was helped to make his product and business better. He will be right.

Also, recommend «How to package design affects sales«