Do You Know the True Value of your Design?

I’m sure you many of you have experienced this before.
Here you are, a designer in the zone waxing lyrical about your design to your client or perhaps a group of engineers. You are feeling good about things and pretty sure that your design is going to be selected to move on to the next phase.
But as you speak and gesture with gusto, you start to realize that the majority of your audience is either staring back at you glossy eyed, or are too busy texting. Worst still, they could be occupied with clearing their emails.
You pretty much lost them at “Hello”.
The reality of things is that many people (engineers, management, business etc.) don’t think like designers or have the same priorities (as designers) of what is important to them in a design.
Sometimes it does comes down to the different “languages” that people speak. This then leads to misunderstanding and miscommunication. What happens more frequently though, is that they don’t understand the value of your design in the way that resonates with them.
Resonating with non-designers is not easy. It takes skill and experience. I remember getting into conversations that start out like this: “Right, the design looks good but it is too sophisticated for me.” I find the best way to overcome this is to look at your design from the other person’s perspective. Put yourself into their shoes, and ask yourself what does your design do for them? What value does your design provide versus the problems they face?
For example if you are speaking to engineers, consider if your design solves a problem, has a simple way to assemble and dissemble it, or perhaps reuses components, etc. If you have a room of business people consider speaking about how the design will make money by pushing up a price point, increases market share, fulfills a consumer need, works well in a retail environment etc.
What is really nice is that if you consider such multidisciplinary aspects while you are designing your product or solution, you will actually become a much better designer.

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