Communicating With Your Designer: Bridging the Gap to Achieve Effective Design

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At Encore, we make educated and strategic decisions in everything we do, including design. One of the first things a designer should do when starting a new project is to learn as much about the client’s business, service, or product as possible. When you first meet with your designer, it's always helpful to spend some time educating them in your own words about what it is you do and why. Providing your own perspective and insights will build on our research and increase our understanding in a more meaningful way.  

Use Descriptive, Objective Language

You’d be surprised at how subjective some visual terms are. I remember one instance in particular in which I was asked to design something with “warm” colors. To me, this meant designing with colors on the warm color spectrum - reds, oranges, and yellows. So imagine my surprise when I showed the design to my project manager, and she asked me why I hadn’t used cozy browns and tans! To her, the term “warm” meant something entirely different. 

This doesn’t mean you should have to lay out every detail of the design for us. After all, that’s what you hired US to do! But you’ll probably have some sort of vision, and oftentimes things can get lost in translation. Using definitive terms, and even showing examples of other designs that align with your vision, will help to close the gap.

Using definitive terms, and even showing examples of other designs that align with your vision, will help to close the gap.

Be Clear About Your Scope and Goals

While communicating visual preferences is important, describing your long-term goals or what you hope to achieve with the project is equally critical. Designers are trained to do so much more than make things look pretty — we’re trained to solve problems and communicate effectively. If we understand what you want to accomplish with the product, whether it be a logo, website, or brochure, we can more accurately design to meet those needs.  

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Suggestions…And Don’t Be Afraid to Accept Them, Either

We’re not always going to get things right on the first try, and that’s okay! Design is a process, so don’t be afraid to offer us feedback or make suggestions. Try to be descriptive, too. The phrase “I don’t like it” may be true enough, but it’s also pretty vague. What about the design don’t you like, and why? Experienced designers are never insulted or inhibited by this type of feedback. Indeed, it is an integral part of the process. 

By that same token, be receptive to new ideas. Your designer has years of experience to draw from, and they may be able to suggest a new solution you hadn’t even considered.

Working with a designer might feel like an ambiguous task. Hopefully these insights will help you to get the most out of your designer!

Posted By

Kimberlin Boyd