Working effectively with a designer can save you time, reduce cost, and make the design process an enjoyable and rewarding and experience. If you’ve never worked with a designer before, or if you plan to work with one soon, here are some tips to help you avoid common mistakes.

1. Define goals together

Work with your designer to bring key goals into focus early on. Align your expectations and discuss specific goals that must be met for the project to be successful.

2. Leave preconceived notions at the door

Don’t have your heart set on a specific outcome too early.  Be open to new ideas that arise during the design process. You may find the end result is better than what you originally had in mind.

3. Design for your customer, not yourself

Always try to look at things from your customer’s point of view. Remember that meeting your customer’s needs is more important than satisfying your own preferences.

4. Tell your designer what you want it to say rather than how you want it to look.

Visual design is all about communicating ideas. Rather than ask for specific colors or fonts, “It should be light green with large font”, tell your designer which feelings you want to evoke, “It should be bright, carefree, optimistic”.

5. Present your designer with problems, not solutions

By saying “Can you make that text a little bigger?”, you’ve actually jumped past the problem and suggested what you think might be the best solution. Instead, present the designer with the problem by saying, “This text might be a little hard to read. What do you think?”

6. Trust your designer

Give your designer the freedom to create a unique and effective design, and the results will speak for themselves.

Inspired by How to (and not to) work with a designer by Daniel Will-Harris.