A collaborative process

Ever wondered what it's like to work with or hire a design team? Yes? Well this may come in handy.
Pete and Matt with Rashaad Hassan of the Leicester Riders

“So how does this all work then?” is a fair question we are often asked at the start of a project. People don’t often pay for design services nearly as much as they do for accounting or beer.

So as a designer (and director of 5or6), I felt it was probably a good idea to give an insight into our process. From the initial discussions to product launch, this article is about what it’s like to work with us… I may even talk you through how to sidestep Pete’s jokes… if you’re lucky!

Let’s talk

The first thing we like to do is meet (if we haven’t already at a social soiree) and chat things over. This could be face to face or over Skype.

We feel chatting it through first off helps. We’ll be asking a fair few questions about your company and other subjects that are easier to talk about face to face, sometimes email threads can be a little impersonal.

Example questions could be:

  • What do you do? Why you do it? And how you do it? We need to know this to get to know you and your company as best we can. We help solve design problems through research, so knowing as much as we can from the beginning gives us a head start;
  • What would you like us to do? What problem do you have that you would like us to solve? Did you want us to take a look at your website? Are you a start up and want a brand to match your product? Let’s talk this over, it’s a fun topic;
  • What is your project budget? If you think we are asking this so we can tailor our quote to your budget then you’re right, we will. However, what we won’t do is give you a £3k solution for a £30k budget. That’s just not how we roll. We ask this so that we can give you the best possible solution to your problem, not a solution that either you can’t afford, or you can afford but rips you off, that’s not cool;
  • Do you have a timescale? If you have a deadline in mind let us know, however unrealistic it might seem, we will be open and honest on delivery dates. If we can’t make it, sometimes we may suggest an interim solution before the full project is launched. However, if we really can’t make the deadline we will say – there is no point in us both wasting time;
  • What did you get up to at the weekend? Like we said before, we like to get to know you and your product, so if you got up to something fun at the weekend we wouldn’t mind hearing the story.

The formalities

Once we have worked through with you the details of your project, we will sit down and draft a quotation for you based on your needs, budget and timescale. The quotation will include a project spec, project timeline, requirements and payment schedule. Once this has been agreed upon, signed off and in most cases a deposit paid, we can get to work.

All systems go

At the beginning of every project we undertake a research phase where we spend time understanding the nuts and bolts of your project, your target audience, brand values, and interaction with any outward-facing design resolutions/websites you already have.

With this information, and appropriate data, we can begin to structure everything we do and make decisions based on facts and figures rather than hunches and witch craft.

Reviewing, understanding & improving

With the research phase complete we will begin to put our thoughts together into tangible outputs through lots of sketching, doodling and coffee. Plus there will be lots of discussions over email, Skype or face to face, to allow us to best reach our goal.

This iterative process of problem-solving, be it a new website or brand design does take time. Steps will be repeated in the design, build and testing phases working towards the best possible solution together.

Product launch

So after all this work has been completed, your website is ready to go, your product developed, your new brand put through its paces to make sure it stacks up against the research and brand values… how do we get it out there?

That’s a decision that is made between us all. We may look to have a brand launch and unveiling or we could do a soft launch with the website, but this decision will be made together using the information we have acquired about the company, its customers and your brand values.

Once you’re out there in the wild, we will be there to help you through the initial changes and edits, so don’t worry. We are always reviewing, understanding and improving.

If you do have any questions on our process or would like to get in contact about a new project you can drop us an email at [email protected] or give us a call on +44(0)1509 768 087.

P.S. Pete’s joke’s are inevitable and part of our process, you will learn to love them as much as we do. We promise.

Article topics