In my last article I was talking about how story is important and how we can visualise it in report design. Today I want to take a step back and show you that every story starts from simple „why and what?”


Before you start designing you should ask client or end user some questions and the key is to ask the right questions – usually I start with these ones:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. What should be an outcome?
  3. Is this what you looked for?
  4. Is this what users are looking for?


What is the problem?

It will never stop surprising me how various ideas come from different people. Especially when they work in the same department in their company and we’re solving the same problem, but it’s totally fine – both for the client, to see their misunderstanding and for you to get the overview of the situation. In this step your job is to collect as many stories as you can and reduce them to one or few main problems. It will help you to make a better visual solutions and make work planning more efficient.


What should be an outcome?

This question is crucial before you start working on the design. You have to understand what client is looking for and both sides have to make sure that they’re on the same page. Don’t be afraid of asking all possible stupid questions – you are a designer and you don’t have to have all knowledge about specific details of client business straightaway. Now it’s your time to learn!


Is this what you’re looking for?

This question should be asked after each design iteration and it’s very important. When you’re talking with the client about their problems and ideas you’re in abstract world and often both of you have different mindsets so it’s your job to have as many iterations as possible. It’s your time to confront your vision with client’s.


Is this what users are looking for?

Before project is finished it’s important to show it to bigger audience – the end users. I know that these days there’s often big pressure to have everything ready as soon as possible but you need to make the client aware that time spent on reviewing your work with the end users on this stage (before development) will be nothing compare to making changes on live product. You need to find balance between having all necessary feedback and time management.


Of course, what I’m saying isn’t something new but I think we should repeat it like mantra to be better understandable to our clients 😉


Greg Stryjczak


Read more:

Why visualize performance?

Designing CTA buttons and navigation strategies

Color blindness and data visualization