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How to recognize a good designer from a mediocre one

 

So far we have explained to you how to understand if you need a product designer. Now we guide you so that you can recognize a good product designer and to find out who are the bad ones

 

The features of a good designer

 

1) A good designer is flexible and responsive

Let’s face it: customers are always right, even when they are very demanding. Working with a collaborator or a team that is not available to compromise can become a nightmare. But beware, a good product designer is not the one who works at night, delivering prototypes in 24 hours or designing concepts the day after signing the contract because “he has no schedule”. A good professional knows the right times of a project and negotiates them only to the point where it does not hinder the quality and completeness of the work, they are “responsive” and have spirit of adaptation to the various company realities they have to work with.

 

FREELANCE OR STUDIO: PROS, CONS AND OUR VISION

 

2) A good designer asks so many questions and talks to you

Like children, the industrial designer always asks “why”. But not only that. If a professional asks a lot of questions (smart and interesting, of course) about your product and your company it is not because he wants to steal some kind of industrial secret, but only because they want to know and understand the context, the objectives, the best opportunities and project limits. Once all the necessary information has been collected, they can get to work on what he does best: design. And don’t worry if they talk to you, if they ask for your opinion or to comment on their work in progress: it is not insecurity, it is trying to translate business language into the language of the product.

 

headset design

 

3) A good designer is above all a problem solver

Designing for a product designer does not just mean joining a brief and creating a product. Often, it means solving a problem by taking new paths and coming to innovative solutions: problem solving is precisely the ability to find valid solutions starting from the correct understanding of the starting problem. The brief is therefore not the plot of a “show” already written by the customer, of which one must just draw the most beautiful ending possible, but a challenge thrown to the designer, who must re-elaborate all the elements involved to find the winning intuition. So, if you have the impression that your collaborator is a simple performer we suggest you to look for alternatives.

 

CASE STUDY: WHEN THE PROBLEM SOLVING REVOLUTIONIZES A PROJECT

 

4) A good designer is open minded

Some might say “open minded”, someone else “holistic”, the fact is that a good product designer knows no mental barriers and never compartmentalize. They let themselves be inspired by cues, stimuli and inspirations that also come from other sectors and other areas: do not trust a designer who only brings you examples and suggestions from your industry references. A reliable designer is the one who does not fossilize on a problem, who does not get stubborn, but rather thinks “out of the box”. And those who have an open mind also know how to enhance the resources they work with, who observe the dynamics and the characteristics of the team and tries to involve everyone in the most productive and  intelligent way as possible: they are not  lone wolves.

 

5) A good designer is honest and believes in its projects to the fullest

No one is a jack-of-all-trades, thankfully. Otherwise we would lose what that makes us human, that is curiosity. So, we like the designers who recognize their limits and strive to overcome them. If I have never worked in the industry industrial, why should I lie? And if instead it was precisely this mental “virginity” to make me the right person for what you need? If any lack of knowledge can be fixed with some studying and intelligence, dishonesty might to compromise the customer-designer relationship immediately. Another aspect that we would like to emphasize is the emotional participation in the projects: the ideal designer gets excited, lets themselves be carried away and involved: after all, the experience that thousands (or millions) of people will have of a product depends on their creativity. Not a little responsibility.

 

The characteristics of a mediocre designer

 

1) A mediocre designer does not listen and does not collaborate

When a designer does not question himself and does not second-guess their own ideas, well, they probably should change jobs. We advise you to run from those who are not able to listen to you, propose you projects “turnkey” or are not willing to get back on their steps. The only truth is that there are no truths or rules on the subject of product design: there is only experience, competence and intelligence of the designers, who must find solutions that respect the demands of the brands, companies and, above all, consumers.

 

2) A mediocre designer sells only renderings and not concepts

If my working life is to stay 8 hours at a desk to use 3D design programs, I will probably never be a good designer of product. Don’t let yourself be “duped” by those who boast about knowing how to use softwares or of having attended 10 refresher courses on the new frontiers of the digital modeling in the last year. Beyond the computer there is a world to explore and we assure you that often the best ideas come right from there. A design process must create concepts and strategies, and the rendering is only a small part.

 

NOT ALL DESIGNERS ARE THE SAME AND WE WILL TELL YOU WHY

 

3) A mediocre designer prefers quantity to quality

Premise: the concept is a fundamental step for any design project, regardless of the complexity and degree of innovation required. In this phase a large chunk of a product’s success plays out, so it will take time to get it right, right? If a designer overwhelms you with concepts (already 7/8 according to us is beyond reason) it may mean that they do not have  very clear ideas about the direction to give to  follow for the project: a few  but concrete and achievable concepts (3 or 4 are enough) are better.

HOW A GOOD CONCEPT SAVES YOU FROM THE FAILURE

 

4) A mediocre designer has a portfolio of never finalized concepts

Would you trust a chef who wrote a recipe book and never cooked not even one? We would not. Stay away from designers who show you a portfolio of “abstract” concepts: the first litmus test for a designer is production, the second is the market. We believe that the concept should be as close as possible to the final product, not the fruit of the vanity of a professional, and above all must already take into account the production and distribution constraints, otherwise we are in a world of dreams. And  dreams are fine at night, but not on the market.

The Whynot way e 4 reasons to choose us

 

 

Whynot Design is not a conventional design studio but it is much more than a group of freelancers. If we were to borrow from other fields we would like to define us as a “collective”, a “hub” of senior designers and professional freelancers.

 

We are freelance senior designers but we work in a fluid design team and in the “cloud”, dematerialized and free of costs and physical constraints. Whynot Design takes the best of the freelance and combines it with all the advantages of a study of design and collaboration of several creative minds.

 

We are at the end of the guide and we’ll leave you with 4 good reasons to choose us:

 

1. Professionalism

Whynot Design are 3 senior freelance designers (Juste, Alberto, Francesco) with over 12 years of experience in the product design sector: we have worked in studios, either in small and structured realities, in companies and as freelancers.

 

 

2. Versatility

Our fluid structure allows us to work both with brands that prefer free independent professionals, both with those who prefer to collaborate with a studio and includes more professionals.

 

3. Relationship/cost ratio

The customer speaks and relates to 360° with a precise person, without  intermediaries, but the work is done by the team of senior designers through a process of co-creation, maintaining in any case a freelancer price.

 

4. Specialization

We passionated of product design and we study to improve and always offer the maximum quality. In parallel, over the years we have built a network of collaborators and specialized suppliers to work alongside with us to enrich our range of services.

 

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE? CONTACT US

 

IN THE OTHER ARTICLES

#1 THE ROLE OF DESIGNER AND HOW IT HELPS YOU TO SUCCEED IN THE MARKET

#2 FIVE SYMPTOMS TO RECOGNIZE A LACK OF GOOD DESIGN