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How Non-designers Contribute to Designing the Right Things?

10 September 2020

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Working in the design field, I have realized that many non-designers consider designing as an art and nothing more. But in reality, designing is so much more than visuals and looking pretty. Most non-designers do not understand the point of designing. This can make working with non-designers pretty stressful for a designer, particularly when they play an important part in the design process. 

Now, one may think, how a non-designer comes in handy in the designing process? Well, as I mentioned before, designing is not only about visual designs or making nice-looking websites, ads, or stationary, it also takes a lot of effort, research, iterations, and feedback. This whole process of designing needs team effort. This team needs people who are non-designers to discuss the process and make decisions. 

So, how do non-designers know what particular contributions they can make in designing the right products? Here are a few contributions that non-designers can make to make their products perfect-

Include the Designers While Making Design Decisions:

Many designers find themselves in situations where they are asked to design a project that is halfway done (project choices and design decisions are already made). These decisions and choices, which can be considered as the biggest parts of the design works, are often done by non-designers. This creates a lack of understanding between the designers and the stakeholders regarding the scope and intent of the project. 

What the non-designers fail to notice during a project is that design should be made with a prior idea of what to expect from the project and who will be using the product. Without being involved in the process of making these decisions, designers often find themselves in a difficult position. Working together is the key here. It is the best way to create interaction between everyone in the team. 

Getting Involved in Researches and Data Analysis:

Involving non-designers in research and other design activities is an important part of the success of a product. Designing is not only about design skills and talent. Designs are supposed to convey a message to the recipient. To do that right, you need to do some research and collect data. Without doing the research and knowing your users, you may find yourself building a feature that is completely unnecessary for the users and be completely blind to a feature that the users want.

User Feedback is Crucial for Design:

No matter how good a designer you are, without knowing what the users want, it is impossible to make a good design. Asking users questions about their experiences can actually help a designer to better their design strategy. It is another great way to let the users know how involved you are with them. This process is important for iteration. Using the feedback to iterate and make the design better.

Understanding Design is More Than Visuals:

Non-designers usually think that designing is all about making things look pretty. Although designs should look good to attract the attention of the users, and this leads to the prior mentioned problem of not involving the designers in any other steps than designing. Non-designers need to understand all the efforts and information that are needed in the process of designing. It is important that the non-designers know the importance of other steps to make a design perfect. 

Designing is all about teamwork. A product team consists of designers and non-designers. Non-designers, just like the designers, contribute a lot to project design. Learning the basics of the design process is an important part for non-designers to effectively collaborate with designers and design the perfect product.