How to Partner and Work with a Product Designer

You’re an awesome developer, but when it comes to design you’d barely grade higher than a C in nursery school finger painting. You need a designer. But where do you go to find one? How do you know you’ve got a good one? And how do you work with them?

At Silicon Valley Code Camp, Uday Gajendar, Principal Product Designer at Citrix, had some tips.

What type of designer should I partner with?

Designers come with different backgrounds. Some are more artistic. Some know human computer interaction or usability engineering. Understand that while developers can be instructed to create more or less the same product, each designer has a different point of view.

I don’t know anything about design. How do I know I’ve got a good designer?

“Look at the quality of work,” says Gajendar. “Craftsmanship really matters.”

If you can’t tell from looking at the work, ask the designer to articulate and defend their rationale as to how and why they made their choices. If they say, “I felt like it,” “it was cool,” or “Facebook did it,” avoid them. You want people who have a clear point of view and mastery of their craft.

When working with a designer, your relationship should be truly a partnership with you as developer and product manager. That partnership is built on respect, teamwork and mutual dependency on each other.

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November 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm, Mike said:

Beware any designer who likes black backgrounds with dark blue text.

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