They both want to be your favorite. They both want your attention. So, let's dive into parenting 101.
In any given project, technical requirements and creative requirements are meant to compliment each other. The visual prowess of your mockup doesn't matter if it's a dud from a features standpoint. On the flip side, it can be a technical masterpiece but fail because it's uninspiring visually. As designers we may favor one over the other. This 'favoritism' can be due to:
To manage the delicate equilibrium of your design project, you need to give an equal amount of attention to accomplishing the creative requirements and the technical requirements.
It is important to outline, organize, and architect the technical requirements early in the project to let them inform the user interface designer as they create page mockups. At Brave People, we front-load our projects with user experience-type deliverables (technical requirements documents, UX research, site maps, low fidelity wireframes) so that our UI designers are well-informed. This allows them to innovate the visual design of these features without fear of misusing the budget.
Throughout the entire project lifecycle there should be checkpoints scheduled for technical, user experience, and user interface specialists to review the design to ensure all requirements are met and that scope creep has not occurred. All technical requirements and creative requirements should be accounted for at the end of the project if the right team members are discussing requirements throughout the process.
You need to make sure your team has the tools to help balance the technical and creative requirements of the project. Here is an example of the tools you'll need:
Features outline: Outline all features at the beginning of the project. Confirm that your team and the client are on the same page before starting.
Technical requirements: Use your features outline to discover and document the technical limitations and preferences of your client.
Creative requirements: Gather and document visual and creative preferences and make sure these are communicated to your visual design team.
UX research: When the project calls for it, conduct user experience research surrounding the desired features to establish a roadmap.
Mood board: Carefully select appropriate visual styles that will inform the overall aesthetic for the project.
Site map: Create a bird's eye view of the site hierarchy. Include page names and types, label content sections, and identify where critical features will live.
Low fidelity wireframes: Hand off "napkin drawings" to your UI team of page layouts that contain your MVP features and content.