6 Things to Prepare Before Meeting a Product Designer

blog2-in-articleYou’ve got a great new product you want to launch, and you set up a meeting with a product designer. You’re on the road to product- launch success! But you’ve still got plenty of work cut out for you—and it starts with learning how to prepare before meeting a product designer.

Before meeting with a designer? Yes, you read that correct. You don’t want to go into a meeting with a product designer without having done your homework. It’s not enough to show up with a great idea, and that’s it. You’ll need to do plenty of thinking, research, and organizing in advance.

But where should you begin? Read on to learn six things to prepare before meeting a product designer.


1. Know your user

A great idea only takes you so far, especially if you don’t have a clear vision in mind of who the user is. You should have a firm grasp of why you are creating your product, and what the need is in the market before meeting with your product designer. You want to go into your meeting with your product designer as educated as possible about your user. It’ll only help further the end result and lead you to a successful product launch.


2. Know your product

A half-cooked idea isn’t one that’s going to get off the ground with much success. You want to know your product inside and out before meeting your product designer. The designer will want to know things like your target market, projected sales, long-term growth, and how your product benefits your user. Also have an idea of what a good price point would be, both retail and wholesale.

Have you written a product development brief? A good brief includes information on the need for your product and the solution it provides, the scope and function, the competition, brand positioning, and more. If you haven’t written a product development brief yet, learn how to do it and what you might want to include in your brief with this template.


3. Establish a timeline

Before meeting your product designer, create a timeline that maps out your projected production process. Then, when you meet with your product designer, he or she will negotiate with you on the turnaround times, and let you know about any schedule changes needed due to things like vacations or holidays.

If you go in with a vague idea (or no idea) of how fast or slow you want the design process to go, you’ll quickly lose control of the situation, and could miss out on meeting your launch date.

Establishing a timeline isn’t something you should spend five minutes on. Your timeline should include specific deliverables, and reasonable deadlines. Also build in time for revisions, and for unexpected circumstances that may arise.


4. Identify the services needed

You’ll want to go into meeting with your product designer with a good idea of what services you’ll need. Spell out for the designer what role you wish him or her to play, what your expectations are for the provided services, and how the designer’s role affects the overall product development process.


5. Illustrate your design needs

This is the fun part. Likely, you have a great idea mapped out in your head, on paper, or on the computer for what you’d like your product to look like, do, and what features you’d like to see included.

Bring any and all inspirations and ideas to your meeting. The more information you can provide your product designer, the better he or she will be able to turn your product into a reality (and a successful reality, at that).

Also, remember to keep an open mind. While you’ve likely had a vision in your head of your product for some time, there could be ideas or alternatives that make your product stronger or better. Be prepared to look at all options, even if they guide you down a path you weren’t expecting to take.


6. Know your numbers

Before meeting with your product designer, you’ll want to have the numbers game worked out. If the designer’s services aren’t in your price range, you won’t waste anyone’s time (and your money) by not figuring that out in advance.

Know your budget, and don’t put yourself in a position where you’ll be inclined to cut corners in the design process. Doing so is a waste of everyone’s time, and leads to a sub-par final product.

Also be prepared for the unexpected, and therefore unexpected costs. Build contingencies into your budget for circumstances that may arise.


Follow these steps, and you’ll get the most out of your first meeting with a product designer.

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Jarrod Barker
About the Author
Jarrod Barker
Jarrod has a keen interest in technology development and operations. He has an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering and his industry experience spans product design, sports technology, medical device engineering and power generation. He has worked for a leading design consultancy in Cambridge, UK and now runs the Outerspace branch in San Diego USA.

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