The Top 5 Things You Should Discuss With Your Product Designer

blog3-in-articleBuilding a strong relationship with your product designer can be one of the most important things you do to drive the success of your product. You’ll want to foster good communication with your product designer, and be open and honest. Before you begin, there are a few things you should discuss with your product designer.

After all, your product is your baby. You want to make sure your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed. You don’t want anything to go wrong, or for poor communication to detract from the end result.

Ensure the success of your new product launch by learning the top five things you should discuss with your product designer. Do it today.


1. The schedule

Be up front early in the product design process about deadlines, meetings, and important dates, including your target launch date. It’s a good idea to talk scheduling early on, that way you won’t be surprised about the duration of certain project stages, or key shutdown periods for off shore manufacturers..

It’s a good idea to set deadlines together with your product designer. This includes everything from when initial sketches or computer drawings are expected, to when three-dimensional mockups or prototypes are needed. Your product designer will help you understand the order of the project stages required and how long these typically take to complete.

Once a schedule has been determined and agreed upon, make sure the dates are clearly marked in an online calendar, or other resource that can be easily accessed by all parties involved.

If you’re working with a designer in another country or part of the world, discuss your and their business hours, holidays, and how to handle deadlines cross-time zone.


2. The expectations

Good communication with your product designer doesn’t stop once you have a working schedule in place. Next, you need to make sure to set clear expectations, and make sure everyone understands who is responsible for what, and when.

Also spend some time discussing outcomes with your product designer. It is easy for you to be thinking one thing, and your designer to be thinking another. Come up with clear deliverables, and be as precise as can about them.

An example of this is deciding with your product designer that he or she will create three initial concepts, and then one refined set of drawings or models. A bad example is telling your product designer to “just come up with a bunch of ideas.”

Being as specific and clear as possible from the get-go will keep the design process on track, and will be less frustrating for everyone involved.


3. The information. Don’t hold back.

When sharing information on your product, don’t hold back. Product designers want to know, and should know, every bit of information you have on your target market, the competition, the design challenges, and what the parameters and scope are.

Some people mistakenly think that if they tell their product designer too much, it stymies the product designer’s creativity, and saps any new aspects or elements he or she could bring to the table to make your product stronger.

This isn’t true. A good product designer will take any and all information you can provide and will come up with design solutions that work. He or she won’t be able to do that if you withhold information, or leave him or her in the dark.

Remember, everything you share with your product designer will only help the product in the end. There are many things you should discuss with your product designer, and not many you should hold back on.


4. The revision process

No project is done perfectly right the first time. Revisions are an inevitable part of the process, and should be discussed in advance. Talk to your product designer about how many revisions will be made, and how they’ll be handled.

During the design process, a product designer can get bogged down when someone constantly asks for small revisions or additions. If you think of an idea, revision, or something you’d like incorporated into the design, sit on it.

It would be so easy to fire off a quick email as soon as you have a brainstorm. But, your idea could gain steam, or you could change your mind. Instead, wait until the idea is fully formulated, then communicate it to your product designer within in a predetermined stage of the process.


5. Your budget

You should be open about your available budget and your product designer will be able to help tailor their services so they match where you’re at. Signing on for services you can’t, or can barely, afford means you’d likely need to try to cut corners with the design process. Doing so can be frustrating for you, and even more so for your product designer, and won’t result in the best product.

Hopefully these tips on things you should discuss with your product designer help you in your design process.

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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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