Designers face tough challenges every day. They are required to find design solutions that are capable of dealing with several business and technological limitations, ensuring they address every possible user need. As is well-known, design has the ability to provide universal solutions. However, these solutions are only possible when designers can truly grasp the extent of a problem, and user context right from its outset.
Design workshop questions act as a method of better understanding a product and its viability, along with the stakeholders involved. Given below is a set of 10 Design Workshop Questions that not just help get a better understanding of the client and the product but also help with a smooth transition to designing as well. Other than these, we’ve also curated a list of 80+ design workshop questions, depending on the different stages (from ice-breaker to hand-off) to help you right through the design workshop challenges.
When designing a new product
1. Why are we doing this?
This is the most important ‘why’ of designing a product. Asking about why a product is being designed gives clarity on its purpose. It gives a clearer understanding of those set to benefit from it, how, and why. Also, it gives clarity on why the existing product might not have worked and what specific changes are necessary.
2. For whom are we doing this?
This is a vital question that gives you much-needed insight into who your users are and why they’ll interact with your product. It’ll also give you an idea of how the user will interact with the product and the required user journey that’s expected of them. As every design is developed keeping the user at the center, this is a vital question that provides you specific data on how you’re going to device the whole product.
3. Are there specific company colors that need to be incorporated?
When you’ve got a sound knowledge of the specific requirements of the brand, including the colors associated with it, you’ll be in a better position to design the various components. Also, by having the company colors at hand, you can save valuable time as well, in trying to put together a color palette.
4. Are there related product designs you like or would want us to refer to?
Asking the client about designs or references will help them understand their requirement better. It will also give you a clear idea as to the specifications they’re looking for. Having references will also help to quicken the iteration and prototyping process. However, it is important to be very specific with the inspiration, so that you have adequate insight to take note of.
5. What are the goals of the product?
When you ask a stakeholder to define the goals they’re expecting to achieve of a product, you’re able to see their vision of it. It gives you a clear understanding of what the client is expecting. This is a vital question that needs to be asked when conducting design workshops with stakeholders as it gives better clarity on the product to be designed.
6. Would different sections of your products need different designs, coloring, and layouts?
This question will give clarity on the different versions you will have to create for a single product. The variation needed, the different sizes, layouts, colorings, and the multitude of designs necessary will also give clarity on how long you’ll take with the deliverable. Also, it eases the whole process of going back and forth with designs once you’ve got an idea of what are the exact requirements and why.
When re-designing an existing product
7. Are there any branding/visual styles currently developed and available?
If there are pre-existing branding and visual styles, then by asking to see those assets you’ll have a fair understanding of what the product was, what might have gone wrong, what changes are necessary, and why. Also, having access to previously worked on assets gives clarity on what’s to be avoided and what’s to be focussed on.
8. Is there a logo for the brand or would you need us to create one?
A logo is the face of a brand. It is what a user sees and almost instantly draws a connection with the brand. Thus, it must match the values, tonality, and colors of the brand. Often, users may unknowingly get put off by the logo and color palette of a brand, which is when you’ll know it requires rebranding.
9. Would there be any behaviors, conventions, and expectations that users might bring to this product basis their experience with similar such products?
The answer to this question gives an insight into why users choose to opt for a competitor site instead of the client’s. It helps in understanding the difficulty a user is facing when interacting with the client’s site. It also helps you understand what expectations your user has when they interact with your product.
10. Is there any other ad-hoc information you’d like to provide?
Every piece of information no matter how small holds value. It aids the designer in their understanding of the stakeholder, user, and product. Thus, it is necessary to ask for all data, findings, insights, and information that your client can provide, even if you’re setting to re-design an existing product.
Design Workshops are a great way to understand how a designer’s mind works. It is also a great way for the client to interact with designers to understand their methods and processes. It gives clarity on the work undertaken. A good, fruitful, and interactive design workshop also helps in upholding the importance of a good design, to the client. However, it is imperative to keep in mind that the core of good design also requires the incorporation of accessibility into it. It acts like a hidden KPI for every project, something that simply has to be part of the project, irrespective of whether it’s a new project or a re-designing.
Design is the differentiating factor between a good user experience and a great user experience, and design workshops ensure that the outcome is always beneficial to both the user and the business. The design workshop questions mentioned above are some of the crucial questions that can be asked post fun icebreaking sessions to gather insights into both users and clients. Hopefully, they’ll come in handy for your next design workshop too!