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How to partner with your design team to do great work

design team work illustration

Years ago, I was supposed to be a part of a 3-man team for a college thesis. I was thrilled to be working with like-minded and equally diligent friends. I remember being an hour early for our first meeting. 

Unfortunately, my teammates arrived late. Uh-oh

It was only the beginning of my many frustrations. There were power struggles, missed deadlines, and the requirements were piling up. After a month, I decided to work on my own thesis, alone.

I got my documents written, research compiled, and interviews done, without having to wait for anyone. I submitted my thesis a week early and I was proud of myself.

Did you know what happened to my ex-teammates? They won best thesis and thesis of the year, and even received their awards during our graduation ceremony.

Did I make the wrong choice? Maybe, maybe not, I’m not sure. But after 14 years, I’ve heard a quote from the founder of Deer Designer that sums up this learning experience.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

There are many situations that require us to work with others. Especially in business or company work, collaboration is the best way to deliver great work for clients.

It’s a challenge for a business to know the best vendor, service provider, or supplier to partner with. But with a lot of trial and error, you can find the best partner you need to meet your business targets.

One of the most in-demand tasks you can outsource is design work. Right now you’re probably considering Deer Designer or you’ve already onboarded with us (yey!). 

In this article, let me share some tips on how to maintain a good partnership with your design team to create great work.

What to prepare for your design team

Before sending a ticket to your design team, make sure that you have a plan on what to do with the design you will receive. It must be part of a bigger marketing plan or a campaign for your client. A design with no purpose is worthless.

You know your brand like the back of your hand as the founder or agency owner, and if you don’t have one yet, it should be the first thing you request from your design team. 

This will be the bible to which you and your team will refer in order to keep your brand consistent.

If you’ve had designs done in the past that you’d like to keep or continue, gather them and share them with your design team as a reference point. They can note which elements you want to keep and then improve on the rest.

Keep the pipeline full

It is more cost-effective to request a large number of tickets at once rather than one at a time. You can also receive the deliverables in batches this way.

When your design team understands your preferences, they will be able to complete tickets more quickly and with fewer revisions. You’ll be able to get more done this way.

Give actionable feedback

Please don’t say things like “It needs more wow factor.” or “I’m just not feeling it.” Although actionable feedback may appear to be rigid, the more specific your corrections are, the more accurate the revisions will be.

For example, if you want to change the font, you must specify which font to use. You must specify the type of smile you want to see in a character illustration if you want it to look happier. Just a wide, closed smile? Or perhaps one with teeth?

There will be times when you run out of ideas. Simply let us know, and Deer Designers, as professional designers, will give you lots of options to choose from.

How to be a good design partner

In creating great design work, the best ways to be a good design partner are:

  • treating the design team as partners and not robots
  • communicating the goals and plans of the project,
  • trusting your design team

Everyone’s feedback and cooperation are required in design, so everyone should contribute. Design is a two-way street in which everyone has a say.