It used to be that I would sit with clients and go over different design ideas with them. I would create designs, then tweak them, sometimes even redo them. The design phase of the project took almost 50% of the entire time for the project, and would burn through more than 50% of the enthusiasm for a new project.
I always told the client to tell me what they wanted for the design, and therein lies the problem. I wasn’t the one that needed to know what they wanted their design to look like.