You’ve reached the Kickoff Phase — you are now ready to learn the nitty-gritty about your customer, directly from their mouths! This is an exciting phase; it provides you the opportunity to learn about your client’s business goals and their users’ desires, which will inform you throughout the project.
The Design Kickoff is a meeting between the designer and the customer. During this meeting you try to identify problems, gather shopper information, and walk through core experiences and information hierarchy. There will be some preparation for you to do beforehand, and some follow-up afterwards, but the bulk of this phase happens within your initial 60–120-minute meeting.
This phase is also an opportunity for you assert yourself as a thought leader. By figuring out problem areas together with the customer, you will be able to best lead them through potential solutions when you present mockups later on. Getting your customer involved early on and helping shape decisions will make them feel like contributing members of the project, which in turn help you sell your decisions to them in later feedback sessions.