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Design Kickoff Meeting

In this section learn how to conduct a successful design kickoff meeting.

After the project kickoff meeting, which is lead by the Project Manager, you will get the chance to talk to the client during the design kickoff meeting. Plan for the design kickoff meeting to easily take up 90 minutes, often times up to 2 hours. (we’d advise having the PM take notes for you as the meeting progresses as it’s challenging to be engaged and take notes at the same time!) An audio recording of the conversation is also handy as long if you have consent from all parties involved.

Following the Design Kickoff Script will help you, but feel free to ask whatever questions you want. This meeting is to ensure you have all pertinent information and resources required to start on design.

Introduction and Roles

While you’ve probably been briefly introduced during the project kickoff meeting, it doesn’t hurt to reiterate who you are and what your role is on the project.

Establish Project Objectives

Remind your customer that you’re both working towards the same goal: creating an excellent mobile shopping experience. Answer key questions: what are they trying to achieve with this new mobile site or app? Are there certain needs — conversions, retention, sign ups — that require more focus?

Understanding the End User

Learning more about the end user means you can tailor the experience to them. Their shopping habits and preferences, can all shape a design. Find out as much as you can by asking the customer to share any personas and user data they may have.

Map Out the Shopping Experience

Knowing a little more about the users means you can ask some more specific questions about the customer’s vision for their mobile site or app. It is more immersive and app-like? Or is it straight-to-the-point and utilitarian? Is user encouraged to browse, or are they directed to exactly what they want?

Using the Red Boxing Exercise

Red boxing is a useful exercise because it allows us to quickly establish hierarchy in the content, as well as clarify how Mobify works.

Just what is red boxing? It is exactly what it sounds like: drawing red boxes on a screenshot. It seems simple, but you can get quite a lot of information out of doing this exercise with the customer.

First, take a screenshot of major pages you want to discuss with the client — typically whichever pages we’ll using for the initial mockups. Then, while sharing the screen with the customer, talk through each piece of content in the screenshot. This is where you can establish hierarchy of what content is important as well as driving home that Mobify works by repurposing desktop content.

As you are discussing the content of the desktop site, you can start drawing those eponymous boxes. And though it’s called red boxing, try using a range of colours to clearly establish hierarchy. Here are some recommended colors:

Red boxing
During a red boxing exercise, designer and client work together to determine which areas of the desktop website should be the priority.

After completing the outline of the content on desktop, you should now have a strong understanding of the content that’s important to the client, and a clear plan to follow while entering into the design phase.