If we are designing a logo, website theme or business card we try to narrow down what the customer wants. Often we send the customer a series of ideas to confirm the words. (Softer, richer, and less stuffy) Need to be translated into the design.
Once we are agreed on the general look and feel we set about refining the design. The designer needs to communicate his vision to the programmers as quickly as possible.
Customers have real datasets so they don’t often fit into the standard templates. Working with 500,000 records in a table is completely different to working with a list of 100 addresses. If a dataset changes daily then the user needs clear visualisation tools that are not required for 100 addresses.
Our programmers are clever guys, some of them think they can design, but programming complexity can lead them in a direction that is not always pretty. The designer is an independent auditor of taste, who is not constrained by coding. We try to ensure programmers keep as close to the designer’s guidelines as possible.