What Makes a Great Designer?

Raven here. Awhile back, I was following up on a lead looking for a new website. Well, not totally new. He’d started a site redesign with another web designer and it wasn’t going well at all. We were talking through what his options for moving forward might be.

I just felt awful for him. The story he was telling me was familiar – he was looking for a creative partner, but ended up with a task-based, paint-by-number designer. He needed strategic expertise, but the resource he was working with definitely wasn’t delivering that.

My hope is that you’ll never be in that situation. I want to share a few things to look for in a designer to ensure that the creative process, and the final product, exceed your expectations.

#1 They understand strategy AND execution.

There are incredibly talented coders who – bless – don’t know a thing about business strategy. And then there are dynamic and motivated business leaders who wouldn’t know what to do with a little PHP.

Look for a creative partner who can contribute on both strategy and execution – someone who brings critical thinking and new ideas to your meetings, and then follows up with elegant execution of those ideas.

Look for a creative partner who can contribute on both strategy and execution. Click To Tweet

#2 They’re organized.

They follow-up when they say they will, they’re able to give you clear answers on important variables like budget and timeline. They are able to speak to a process and what next steps look like for everyone involved.

#3 They’re problem solvers.

Make a test out of this one – speak to a specific challenge you have with your website right now, and give them a chance to problem solve with you. If they’re willing to roll up their sleeves with you – that’s a good sign! If they’d prefer you just make a decision and let them know what to do – end things, fast!

We’ve said before that sometimes task-based designers are exactly what your project calls for. But big projects like identity design or website redesign are much better suited to a creative partner who can bring valuable skills like creativity, problem-solving, and organization to your project.

Are you looking for a creative partner? Let’s talk about your next project. Drop us a line and we’ll be in touch.