Design is a curious concept. To get some understanding of what is expected we should begin by considering what is the reason for, or the purpose of design or designers? Usually the reason is to help to achieve an objective that the customer is unable to do so on their own, but that can be where the problem begins.
When they can’t do it and they can’t really explain in very much clarity exactly what it is that they actually need, then landing the project can be something of a chore, to say the least. As the old maxim goes, clarity is power and never more so than in the realm of design.