After I’ve went through a Brand Discovery Process (defining the brand that I’m designing for) and SWOT Analysis (and hopefully built a good relationship with my client). I’ll need to know what is the primary purpose of this project? What Do you want to communicate? Can we define a clear and concise objective?
Getting to 1 concise objective is awesome but, if we have multiple stakeholders it may not be possible. If you can’t get 1 try to rank the objectives. It’s always better to have fewer objectives. Remember in trying to say everything, we say nothing… choice kills design and user flow.
Who is the primary audience?
After I have my goals defined, I’ll develop proto-personas and design for them. 1 or 2 proto-personas based on any research that I might have, helps a redneck like me become more empathetic. What is their age, location, job, education, and life stage? Design for these people.
After we’ve defined the primary objective and our target audience. Now we design for the user, what they need to see and hear. Successful communication is strategic communication and in UX design we will focus on where the business goals and the user’s goals converge. Depending on the size of the project I’ll jump right in to the wire-frames, user flows and prototypes. Early prototypes shared with the stakeholders early on will help prevent any confusion, project creep and unnecessary time.