What should a mood board include?

May 12, 2023

"Your design is very good, but I don't feel right. You make another draft and I will continue to feel it." "I have no feeling for your design, and you haven't found the feeling I said." How about it, design Teachers, are these two sentences from the client familiar?

What should a mood board include?

How do designers break the "no feeling" situation?

Mood boards, are feelings communicable?

"Your design is very good, but I don't feel right. You make another draft and I will continue to feel it." "I have no feeling for your design, and you haven't found the feeling I said." How about it, design Teachers, are these two sentences from the client familiar?

I personally have a life experience. In design communication, as long as I feel that this word appears more than twice in a single sentence, it means that the project has fallen into a quagmire, and there is a high probability that it will be pushed to redo. I call it the law of feeling. You can check this law against your work experience.

How To Create A Fashion Mood Board - Apparel Entrepreneurship

Why does just starting to talk about feelings mean something is going to happen? Because feeling means unquantifiable goals, abstract concepts, and even completely deviated from the interpretation system and other risks. You feel right, but I just feel wrong, which cannot be proven or falsified. I have always suggested to designers that designers should not use the word feeling, and this is the reason.

But even if we don't talk about feeling, many things will still fall on feeling, and there will always be something in the project that cannot be described by words and data. At this time, how do we break the game? How do we deal with "I don't feel right" that cannot be proven or falsified?

Let's first analyze how sensory problems arise. In my opinion, there is only one reason for problems in a design project: failure to meet the needs of the client. The customer takes the feeling as an example, and the essence is that some of his needs have not been met.

I divide the needs into three levels: enterprise needs, user needs, and decision-maker needs, and look at the proportions of sensory factors among them.

The first is the needs of the enterprise, that is, the direct needs of customers. Generally, it is expressed as the breif and demand list we receive, which is the most intuitive but also the most superficial value. The subsequent delivery of most designers is not smooth because they only see these requirements that have been listed. Functional value represents the customer's business needs. Feeling factors do not seem to exist here, but they are actually a bit like job requirements during recruitment and courtship criteria during blind dates. No matter how clear and detailed the list is, everyone knows that it is just A reference to rule out the least likely options.

The second layer of user needs is the bearer of real value. But because individual users are scattered and different, we cannot get a list like the previous function value, but need designers to dig out by themselves. Just because there is no checklist, from here, the element of feeling starts to interfere with the design process. The designer thinks that the user needs A, and the customer thinks that the user cares about B. It is not uncommon for the two parties to argue about this. The word feeling has become a common word at the level of user needs.

Ordinarily, the needs of customers and users are finished, and the work is over, but I noticed that there is actually a hidden demand, and this demand often gives a fatal blow to the designer. This demand is the personal feeling of the decision maker. Here, almost all of them are feelings, and the most unjust, false and wrongly decided cases are ruined by the feelings of the decision-maker.

These three requirements basically cover all the sources that may cause problems in the design project, and we can see that the sensory components are gradually increasing. Let's take a look at how to meet these sensory factors. Achieve design goals.

The specific method is to use the design tool in this topic: the mood board.

A mood board can be said to be a specialized tool for sensory issues. It is a visual presentation tool commonly used in the design field to express design definition and direction. Content can include photography, illustrations, color blocks, typography, text, textures, sketches, and more. It is especially common in the design proposal link, and is used to assist in explaining the choice of design style, the source of inspiration for design ideas, and so on. Common forms of mood boards include collages, reference sets, sketched prototypes, and more. It can be said that as long as you do design, you must have been exposed to this tool. But from my observation, most designers use it wrong. The main mistake is that it is only regarded as a means of proposal, but its more important function as a thinking and communication tool is ignored.

How to use the mood board correctly

Let me explain in detail the correct use posture of the mood board. As long as you use it to consciously capture and solidify the emotional factors in the needs, you can no longer be troubled by the word feeling.

Regarding mood boards, there are many methodologies in online books. What I want to talk about is different from them in that I think communication is the greatest value and function of mood boards. In order to facilitate understanding, I follow the process of the project and divide the use of the mood board into four steps: information collection stage, creative divergence stage, concept design stage, and plan interpretation stage to introduce respectively. Four characteristics, as annotations at different stages.

Information Gathering Stage—Keywords “provincial

the key communication content of this stage is the needs of enterprises.
This stage mainly solves the problem of WHY, that is, why the client is looking for a designer. Formal and mature customers will directly give a list of requirements, but we must pay attention to not just start work directly according to the list of requirements! Be sure! As I said before, it seems that each article is very clear and rational, but in the back, any article has a huge room for perceptual interpretation. So look for opportunities and people who can make a decision on the opposite side, define these needs one by one, figure out the priorities, and remember the keyword "saving" at this stage.

Control the client's expectations at this stage and narrow down his wish list to one or two core goals.

There is another important thing at this stage: while confirming the requirements in front of him, create a mood board at the same time, so that he can see and feel that he has participated in the creation process of the mood board. This sense of participation is very important! How much rework can be avoided in the follow-up because it feels wrong can be said to come from his sense of participation.
Note from these points that the first stage is almost the same. The main output is the requirements document, which can also be understood as a mood board with only keywords.

Let me repeat the key points: identify requirements with decision-makers, clarify priorities, and narrow the list of requirements to only one or two main goals. Make sure he feels involved and contributing!

Creative divergence stage How - the keyword "many"

The key communication content at this stage is user needs.

The work at this stage is more specific. Simply put, it is to make associations based on the keywords in the previous stage. Find relevant keywords, and then collect data frantically based on these associative clues. This is the key introduction unit of most mood board tutorials. There are many skills and content. You can check and learn by yourself, so I won't repeat them. I suggest three points:

First, there are many keywords at this stage, please make as many associations as possible, and do creative divergence with the attitude of not letting go of any clues and inspirations, which is directly related to the innovation of the design scheme;
Second, on the basis of rich associations, please pay attention to the control theme not to stray too far, and should always be developed around the value of users;
Third, at least when expanding keywords, the decision-maker should be invited to participate, because this is another opportunity to deeply understand the needs of him and the enterprise. At the same time, the sense of participation in this process is very important for subsequent smooth communication;

The output of this stage is the mood board we are more familiar with, which contains all kinds of colors, patterns, photos, words, sketches, etc. It is a lively and chaotic market.

Conceptual Design Stage What——Keyword "fast"

The key communication content at this stage is the needs of decision makers.

The conceptual design phase is often overlooked, presumably because the process is often done silently in the minds of the lead creators, so it cannot be marked. This is very wrong. I personally think that the conceptual design stage is the key to the whole design process. In order to avoid reinventing the wheel due to factors such as feelings, this stage must be visualized and a mood board must be used.

You may think that at this stage, we designers think about it and can finish it soon. Brother Q, it is a waste of time for you to advocate so. But I want to say that the reason why I suggest this is to help everyone save time, because the biggest waste of time does not come from discussions and processes, but from overthrowing and starting over.

Using a mood board during the conceptual design phase can greatly reduce the number of times you have to start over. Let me do an arithmetic problem to explain: we assume that the approval rate is 20%, does it mean that it can be successful after repeating it 5 times? Wrong, repeat 14 times, only 95% pass rate. If you want a 99% pass rate, you need 21 times. Therefore, if you want to avoid repeated submissions and close the case quickly, there is only one way to quickly carry out conceptual design communication and collision, and overturn these 21 times in the mood board as soon as possible with low cost.

There is only one thing to pay attention to at this stage: you must incubate the concept with your customer decision makers.
Any concept that does not come from the participation of customer decision makers may be overturned!
Any concept that does not come from the participation of customer decision makers may be overturned!
Any concept that does not come from the participation of customer decision makers may be overturned!
Say important things three times.
As long as you work with the decision maker to come up with a satisfactory concept, in my opinion, the design is already invincible.

How Much in the scheme interpretation stage——keyword "good"

The key communication content at this stage is notification.

Then came the most important, but in fact the least important stage of program interpretation. Everyone attaches great importance to using eloquent arguments, exquisite pictures, and decent expressions to conquer all the big bosses of the customers present. I say it's not important because what you're going to talk about comes from the bosses of the big customers present. From the in-depth communication between you and him in the first three steps, from his thinking about the project, and his empathy for the concept.