5 reasons to use mood board in your design creation process

Aly Diallo
4 min readMay 17, 2021
Photo by Brands&People on Unsplash

I love mood board. I remember I used to think they were just fancy stuff made to look good. But through their use, I solved some problems I didn’t realize I had and make my design business a lot smoother. Let me give you the 5 reasons you should adopt this tool too.

Get more information after an incomplete discovery

You learn in class that after the discovery phase, you have all the information to make the design your client will love … lie!!! Many times, you’ll leave the meeting having no idea what to do exactly.

In such situations, mood boards is the perfect tool to help you make the client clearer. Based on the information you got, you can find related images, similar designs, or styles. Share your mood board with your client and get his feedback. Tell him to comment on everything he likes and not and give as much feedback as possible. You can do another mood board with the newly gathered information if you still feel confused or go into the next step of your design process.

Validate information

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Opposite case. You got all the information you need. Perfect, isn’t it? Not sure. You spoke about design. You may use design terms and expect people to use similar terms. However, your client may not be as clear in its use of terms.

Based on all the information you got, you can create a mood board, and let a message on it to highlight a different aspect of the client’s request. Don’t hesitate to diverge a bit from the meeting briefing to explore other paths or validate the one you think the client decided. After getting the feedback from your client, you can either validate your understanding or see what you got wrong and make sure you get it this time.

Create a visual mood

The term visual identity is commonly used. It determines all the visual elements which define a brand. You may get some color code, font, logo, and so on. But if you must create the brand itself or create several designs for a client, I like to determine the visual mood.

Images create feelings, moods. What it represents, the style, the color, your experience, and many other things have an influence on this phenomenon. You want a brand to have a consistent mood. It is often something difficult to determine with just a discussion. Experiencing the brand is a good way to discover the brand’s mood but to create its visual representation, mood boards allow you to display different design elements and discuss with the client how much they fit the brand mood.

Get your customer involved in the design process

Photo by MING Labs on Unsplash

Sometimes, after a clear first meeting, you may feel you got all you need and can start your design work. Depending on the type of project, it can mean several months of production. It is also several months your client may not be interacting with you. I believe this is not a good customer experience.

I like to make the client feel he is active in the design process. Mood board is a really easy way to do so. They can easily give their opinion, see some work you did while your working on the main design and they hear from you from time to time. I, for example, show different mood boards in my web design process for different modules, like a blog or a member area. They are decisions that don’t need to be taken at the beginning of a project so I can have another exchange with the client when I almost finished the previous parts and need to move on to designing this module.

Professionalism and process

I’ve learned, by experience, that having a clear process is a really good asset in your sales speech. When you introduce your service to a possible client and tell him clearly what will happen if they decide to work together, it will help to have a clearer idea of the future. They are not imagining the final product only but the path to have it.

In this process, mood boards are great. For you, it has many advantages, as seen above. They are quite popular, who knows why. When I speaking to my French clients and use the word mood board, they feel they get something big. For me, it’s just a Figma A4 page. Little effort, great result. That’s what I like.

I mentioned it earlier, but I use Figma for my mood board. It’s online so you will not lose it, a link is enough to share it with many people and it includes a great comment tool. And it’s free. Since I use it also for wireframing, in my web design process, it’s also a good way to get my client used to this tool.

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Aly Diallo
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I'm a French freelance web and logo desiger, offering my services and expertise mainly to freelancers, entrepreneurs and SMEs