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Pre-Kickoff Preparation

In this section learn how to prepare for a project design kickoff meeting.

Review the Client Site and Executive Business Review

Take a moment to review the Executive Business Review (EBR) if it’s available. You’ll read more about the EBR in Post-Launch Phase. Also walk through the customer’s existing mobile experience (if available) and desktop experience.

This is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with how the customer site is built. Pop open Chrome Dev Tools and take a look around: is the markup clean and semantic, or clunky and outdated? Is the content static, or populated asynchronously? These questions are important you as a designer. Progressive Mobile technology works by repurposing markup and content from the desktop site. The code you see here will be the code your team will be using to build this web app or app.

Project Type Considerations

As you prepare for the design kickoff, it’s important to understand the high-level project requirements and the specifications you will have to design against. What questions do you need to ask the customer so that you can begin to solve the right problems? You can use the following information and questions to ask how something will relate to either a Progressive Mobile web build or Progressive Mobile app build:

Progressive Mobile Web Apps

Progressive Mobile Apps

Designing for Smart Content

Designing for Messaging

Designing for Location Features

Compiling Questions to Ask your Client

As you review the desktop and mobile site, keep a list of things you’d want to discuss during the kickoff meeting. Why is the menu built this way? How prominent do they want their promotions? How important is each banner on their homepage?

Build out your Design Kickoff Script to reflect the questions you want to ask. Send some of your more complex questions to the client ahead of time so that they can thoughtfully consider the answers.

Looking at their code will produce even more questions: Are they using any special web fonts? Are they using images in place of text? If so, do those images have alt attributes you can use instead? Do their homepage banners have text baked in, or can you repurpose their assets for mobile?

Managing Brand Assets & Guidelines

While looking through their site, you probably got a good feel for your client’s brand aesthetic; you’ve seen the colours and fonts they use, the style of imagery, how things are laid out. But that might not be everything you need to get started. Do you have:

Understanding the Competition

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the customer, take some time to check out their competition. Are they doing anything interesting that you’d like to bring through into this customer’s design? Is there anything they’re doing you can improve on to give your customer the cutting edge?