So you’ve just landed your agency a sweet gig, you’ve had your discovery meeting and you just sat back down at the office. There are several reasons why I believe (in certain situations) it is best to rush your initial design / wireframes and get it in front of your client as soon as possible.
It is easy to forget that not everybody lives in this crazy project to project world that we do. In fact, unless the client is on retainer this might be their first experience with you, or even with the creative/software industry in general. If that is the case they may be very anxious to get comfortable with your work and process. If you have a discovery meeting and don’t show your client anything for several weeks, the client will probably experience some nervousness; are you going to make the deadline? Have you started working on it yet?, Did you just run off with their money? Also, the longer you wait, the more the client will expect. If you show them rough wireframes right off the bat, the precedence is set and the pressure bubble is popped. If you were to wait, the client may expect higher-fidelity mockups or finished products.
The longer you wait, the more you feel that you should complete more prior to showing the client. However, its tough to begin working on details if the client hasn’t already ok’d the general layout/feel. The more time you invest before this initial design unveiling, the more is at risk for misunderstandings.
Having some design or wireframes can help drive productive conversations with the client. Post discovery conversations with clients without design will usually run stale, unproductive, and repetitive. But with design/wireframes/sketches, the client can begin to visualize their idea, and can help come up with new ideas, suggestions, and features. Designers should always do research on the client’s industry/field but the client will probably always have a better understanding of their own industry, and allowing your client to have part in these conversations is vital.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, agencies, designers, projects, and clients are not all made the same. If a client has hired you before and there is a trust there, the client may not want to see anything until it’s further along. Don’t always treat a client like a new client.
Sources — Andy Mangold from “On The Grid” podcast