Digital Marketing

What Makes Good Design Good? A Lesson from STL Design Week

“What makes good design good?”
That was a question posed by Tom Greever, UX Director of Bitovi, in his presentation called Articulating Design Decisions at the Here to There Conference during the AIGA STL Design Week. The conference ran all day Monday and featured a variety of talented designers, strategists, project managers, and more.
Back to the question at hand: “What does make good design good?” Most designers – be it graphic, web, or UX/UI – will collaborate and provide a huge range of answers that are all valid in their own reasons and ways. Mr. Greever makes the argument that design is essential to solve a problem, to make it easy for the users, and to make something that is supported by everyone. Yet, how can a designer achieve such a challenging request? Communication. To be a great designer you have to be a good communicator.
The overarching theme of this year’s all-day conference was a thorough examination of how as designers we can become better communicators. This skill, essential in all walks of life, can be easily overlooked when it comes to interpreting and translating ideas into visible concepts. As Jason Clark, President and Creative Director of VIA Internet Studio, in his presentation plainly put it, “Making the invisible, visible.”
Speakers discussed topics on how as designers we can improve our workflow processes and avoid potential mishaps that can result in detrimental consequences to our businesses and clients. There were talks on how to better communicate by really listening to a client’s needs and how to bring them in closer to the design process so there will be a quicker turn around for high-fidelity mockups – that will be easily approved – down the road. As well as, how to realistically interpret how long a project will take without thinning out resources and burning bridges between yourself and your clientele.
As designers, it is our job to visually create a thought into a tangible, seen concept. However, what stops us from getting from whiteboard to billboard isn’t the demanding challenges posed by a client or the deadlines of other essential projects but rather it’s ourselves. If we don’t stop to fully listen, comprehend, and formulate clear communication – not just between our clients but also our teams – then we have no chance of improving that communication muscle.

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Katherine Harding

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