From Concept to Creation: Why You Shouldn’t Skip the Conceptual Design Phase
Setting the groundwork for a digital design project commences when a starting point becomes ignited by team momentum and conceptual ideation. Preliminary design planning kicks off the domino effect of all the pieces that will create the path for digital creation.
Conceptual design helps designers, developers, and strategists alike to allow all the floating concepts and ideas descend onto conceptual planning as a fully developed design takes form. Yet when stakeholders prompt design agencies on their vision and preferences for project scope, a conceptual stage should not be overlooked despite having an established task at hand. Without careful outlining and planning, it can obscure a digital design with fault lines.
Every Design Needs a Blueprint
The conceptual design allows developers and designers to create a broad outline of their ideas that are articulated. In an iterative cycle, conceptual design is the bread and butter of the initial planning phase before it continues into the prototyping stage. With a concept to back up ideas and outlines, it allows for a much more streamlined process and steady footing before embarking on the trajectory.
Conceptual design links together design methodologies that are paramount for a clear design focus. It reflects stages of definition, research, visuals, verbal ideation, and task prioritization. Within the definition step of this methodology, your digital design agency can define project scope and goals, research then follows to assess a target audience, followed by ideation of ideas and task prioritization within a team to bring those ideas into fruition.
Moreover, glossing over a conceptual design phase can result in a project initiation that may not have details down to a tee. It is vital to propel productivity and reduce overhead, save time and effort, and create an experience for your stakeholders’ impression.
Conceptual Phases Encourage Collaboration
Most often than not, the best ideas come into full force when there is a team of thinkers and innovators ricocheting ideas off each other collectively. One of the benefits of the conceptual phase is the liberty to develop ideas and possibilities before fully diving nose-first into the design and development phase.
Thus, collaboration internally with your team of designers and developers can bring forth new concepts for exploration as well as elevate a design concept. Not only does this allow for creativity but it’s also a great approach to streamline your strategies by aligning on stakeholder expectations and project tasks.
Conceptual Means Further Familiarization
A conceptual framework establishes preliminary focal points that can inform the lifeline of a design and truly allow an assessment of strategies based on data-driven design and research. Collaborating with stakeholders on digital UI/UX design interfaces provides opportunities for research to uncover more about a design’s target audience to create user resonance and retention.
Attaining research and analytical perspective also permit designs and developers to navigate concept testing and ideation much more efficiently and productively to ensure there you aren’t going to waste your time on dead-end efforts and designs that will not work. Rather, your practices will be backed by research and a conceptual framework that views a project from multiple angles.
Tools for Conceptual Framework
As the ideation and research process begins to metaphorize into a building process, many tools and strategies can visually encapsulate your team’s ideas. Concerning digital interfaces — web and mobile, let’s explore the optimal tools for concept building.
White Boarding or Storyboarding: these are great tools to create flow charts of preliminary ideas to generate further, concrete design directions.
Site Map: a site map is a viable tool that can be utilized further into a conceptual phase, as it incorporates the ideation process of user journeys and potential navigation of webpages. Site maps that are presented to stakeholders for collaborative approval are also a great practice before embarking on the design andd development stages to ensure efficiency and productivity.
Wireframe: within the exploratory phase of a design, wireframes provide an overview redolent to how a design/development will appear. It reflects page structure, layout, visual hierarchy, user flows, styling, and functionality.
Conceptual phases may be often overlooked when great ideas flood in, however, organizing and structuring those preliminary concepts flourish best when carefully, and analytically viewed. With all the opportunities for creativity in UI/UX design, the first stepping stone to the process of possibilities occurs conceptually.