Design is all about relationships. Unfortunately, many designers don’t fully appreciate this. Some of the best design work I’ve ever done was drinking coffee or beers with engineers, marketing people, and business development hustlers. And I wholeheartedly mean design work.I often hear designers moan because their incredible design work remains stuck in graphic files, collecting dust. The engineers won’t answer the designer’s emails, the executive team won’t take ten minutes to see their design brilliance, the business people don’t think design is important to the bottom line, the marketing person wants other designs that have ‘pow.’ I should feel so sorry for you, you poor unappreciated designer, but your lamentations touch not my heart.Dear designer, this is your job. You must work to build trust, engage and involve other people on your team, and most of all you need to listen. Have an engineer explain why some queries are more expensive than others or convince your biz dev person to explain how a deal is closed. Do this consistently and frequently. Over a long period of time. Your effort will pay back in spades months later.Fail to do this earnestly and you only have yourself to blame when your Photoshop ‘design’ work gets ignored or bastardized. Heck, you might even learn all the important stuff that will inform your product design work in the process.
21 Jul 2013