June 7, 2022

6 Effective Tips to Communicate Your Design Value at Work

6 Effective Tips  to Communicate Your Design Value at Work

6 Effective Tips  to Communicate Your Design Value at Work

So, here is a scenario. You have completed your design and are ready to present it to your clients or stakeholders. On the day of the meeting, there are seem to be some miscommunication between you and your clients, which you think you have fully understood earlier. These may lead to a few more amendments that could cost time, money, and work efficiency for the final design to be completed on time. 

How do we communicate the value of good design with our clients? The communicating design could be tricky at times as different clients have different requirements and visions. However, there are ways to communicate your design value at work.

In this topic, four ADPList mentors: Chris Z Yu a UX Design Lead at Arista Networks, Shawn Borsky a VP, Design at NZXT, Julie Mills a UX Designer at Smartsheet, and Eugene Joe, the Director of Product Design at MLSE will share the effective ways to communicate the value of good design. 

Tips 1: Communicating design: Set the understanding of design value. 

Credit: Freepik
  • Value is part of the vision setting.

  • It is the approach authority in the design role
    “The idea of collaborating well with stakeholders. Working together what design quality means (proprietary). The methodology, empathy, over your suggestions.”- Julie.

  • Treat as partners rather than stakeholders
    “People treat each other aerodynamic-ly. What is this for? What does success looks like? Have your peers, leads, or developers looks at your goals?”- Eugene.

  • Alignment is not easy for engineers or crafts
    If you force it, you do not do it correctly. Recognize the process that is not to be working.

  • Altitude shifting
  1. What cross functioning team is responsible?
  2. Are we (designers and stakeholders) aligned?

These are needed to discover the ideas we have for the projects.

“Go to specific leaders, get the context and share with the team. Do not assume.”- Shawn.
  • Understand other people’s perspectives.
    Work together instead of push together.

  • Be clear with objectives.
    Easy to communicate values. Most cannot define what corrections looks like.

  • Give clarity to business goals.

  • Present rough calculations to let people understand how much money they will spend and save.
    This helps to break out the noise by thinking in that manner.

Read more on how to create perceived value at the highest levels.

Tips 2: Communicating design when you disagree with the business design…

Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels
  • Understand the business you operate
    Prevent yourself from taking things personally.

  • Be empathetic (more)
    Why are people telling you what to do? Figure out how to be a partner. Think of the best option from experience perspectives.

  • There is no right or wrong
    Do what makes sense.

  • Find the opportunity to define the vision.
    Share the vision with the whole team.

Tips 3: Communicating Design: Assisting people to understand the value of good design

Credit: Freepik
  • How well is the case study in the narrative?
    Be clear of the problem they are trying to solve.

  • What impact drives your stakeholders?
    It should not just end with delivery. Advisable to avoid hypothetical projects.

  • Designers should see beyond visuals:

  1. How well do you articulate your design?
  2. Did your design achieve the goals that you targeted?
“Designers must have flexible understanding. A holistic sense of what problem-solving is. Recognize the problem and not just change the design.” -Shawn.
  • Think about the goals you try to achieve.
    Be a part of the narrative.

Tips 4:  Communicating design:The Not-To-Do List during your interview session

  • Using a lot of “I” instead of “We”
    For example: “I want to do X project, but I could not…”. This shows that you are only responsible for artifacts.

  • Coming strong with a huge ego.
    Be humble.

Tips 5: Communicating Design: How to communicate the value of good design as a mid-level design candidate?

Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels
  • Tell story
    Reflects your ability to communicate, providing project rationale, and values.

  • Recommend Resources:
  1. Design is Storytelling by Ellen Lupton
  2. Lessons from the Screenplay
  3. Storytelling for UX Designers by Chris Z Yu

  • Proactiveness
    Do not wait to be told what to do. Leveraging every opportunity.

  • Curiosity & Attitude
    Think of the impact on customers.

  • Win together mindset
    Eager to learn

  • Owning ambiguity
    Make efforts to figure things out.

  • Show that you care
    Share that you care about the outcome and customers.

Tips 6: Communicating design with appropriate metrics and advocating for design in the absence of the metrics

Credit: Freepik

You can watch the full recording of How To Show The Value Of Design here.


Chris Z Yu (ADPList Mentor) 
UX Design Lead at Arista Networks
ADPList account:
LinkedIn account: 

Shawn Borsky (ADPList Mentor) 
VP, Design at NZXT
ADPList account:
LinkedIn account: 

Julie Mills (ADPList Mentor) 
UX Designer at Smartsheet
ADPList account:
LinkedIn account: 

Eugene Joe (ADPList Mentor) 
Director of Product Design at MLSE
ADPList account:
LinkedIn account: 

Editor and Writer:

Farah Radzi
Content Marketer and Writer at ADPList
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