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The Ability to Communicate Design Compellingly

Where is the gain in being extraordinary if you can’t communicate your ideas and processes, design concepts, and principles effectively?

While we are in an age of endless communication channels and inspirational conversations around design, the ability to communicate design compellingly is an area in which designers need to improve.

Nowadays, it isn't enough for a designer to only solve problems or create solutions. You are often in a situation where you attend big meetings with different experts and there comes the time, where you need to present your work and be able to articulate your ideas and concepts effectively, so that you can be heard and your ideas be taken serious. Without the support from your team, your ideas will go very probably, nowhere. There will always be others involved in the decision-making process, and it is crucial to have support from your colleagues if you want to see your ideas taken forward.

Communicating design concepts and principles, ideas, and solutions in an empathetic and practical manner will help you get your message across, but being able to listen to others is of equal importance. Taking your team’s feedback into account goes a long way to making people feel they are being heard and appreciated, and they will be far more likely to support your design decisions down the road.

As from my work experience, who has worked for over seven years as a graphic designer with companies in different industries and individuals starting their own business, I have learned that communicating design compellingly is a “skill” that is of great importance for each one of us that want to grow in the design world.

Having the expertise to communicate design successfully will demonstrates intelligence and understanding of the business and respect for others. Knowing how to articulate design approach assures businesses and stakeholders you can be trusted and have the required 

competence to complete the job. It also proves purpose, validating that you have thought about their solutions and that there is logic to your approach.

It is important for designers in a role of authority to have the ability to lead, inspire, and motivate teams as well as communicate with other authority figures. Communicating up is a skill in itself, but as with explaining your design decisions, it’s about understanding what makes your superiors tick and understanding their priorities.

So why should you, as a designer become a better communicator?

To be able to convey design solutions to non-designers
- For a project to run smoothly, it is critical that designers articulate their research and design solutions to their team or clients effectively

To get support from the team
- It is essential to have your colleagues support if you want to see your ideas taken forward

To be heard and understood
- To engage with your client productively, it is important to speak slowly and clearly
- Effective speaking means saying what you want clearly and directly, whether you are communicating     with someone directly or via email


To talk business

- If you want to have a space at the head of the table as a designer and to be able to grow, you need to be able to talk business

Design as a profession is no longer single-skilled. It is essential that designers focus not only on cultivating their abilities with the creative tools they use but also on improving to communicate clearly and effectively. Fortunately, good communication habits can be improved by planning, preparation, and regular practice. 

Remember, it’s a skill and it can be learned.