Exceptional client and product designer relationships in 2021

Like all great relationships, a common purpose creates lasting success.

To succeed in creating brilliant products, both the client and designer bring their natural genius to the relationship. From a designer’s point of view, we want to get into the minds of our clients to clearly understand the direction they want to take. We’re open to learning about you, your business, your goals and the challenges that lie ahead.

As a client, you want to know that you’re about to take a journey with a product development partner who understands how to get the best of your ideas to the market.

Over the years of working with clients around the world, we can share our thoughts on what each party should bring to the relationship in order to create successful products. The preparation and work you do before and during the product design process will influence the success of your product in the market. Even though we’ll make it come to life, your role is crucial in ensuring we’re delivering a product that hits the target.

Here are our suggestions on what both you and your product designer can bring to the table:

The Client’s Role


  • Find the right product design team. Do the research and vet potential designers before beginning the process. Work out whether the designer is a good match for your business. Consider personalities, resources, skills, experience and budget.
  • Work with the designer to set clear briefs, timelines and budgets. This is the best way to succeed at achieving your project goals and timelines.
  • Challenge and question the designer. Ensure design decisions can be justified and are in the best interest of your project.
  • Understand that creating something new, innovative and patentable is a journey. There will be ups and downs, but if it was easy it everyone would be doing it.
  • Ask questions. Get clarity and stay on top of the project so that you’re at ease with each stage of the product development cycle.

The Designer’s Role


  • Acknowledge what the client has brought to the table. After all the client is starting this relationship.
  • Unlock and harness the client’s drive and passion. The client is the expert in their field and the designer must aim to become an extension of their knowledge.
  • Listen. The client will possess important information and knowledge that you do not. To benefit from this you just need to ask the right questions and actively listen for clues.
  • Get out in the field. See first-hand the world the client lives in, to understand what problems you are trying to solve, and to see how the future product will be used.
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! Always communicate clearly. Prepare clear and compelling presentations to showcase the designs to your client. Remember the client will be using your work to provide signoff, secure funding, present to management, investors and other stakeholders. Communicate the challenges that lie ahead and always keep the client informed so that the project can be guided properly.
  • Justify your decision making along the way. This may be selection of materials, manufacturing methods, suppliers, colours, size, layout and more. At each point it is important to understand why you make design choices and to be ready for the inevitable question “Why?”.
  • Respectfully challenge and question the client. This is really important in a 2-way relationship. By doing this you can find out what is really important to the client, and create an opportunity to discuss new ideas and new thinking. This is a key tool that allows designers to impart value.
  • Share the vision and celebrate milestones. Be motivated by the client’s success.

Give us a call to find out more about how we could work together


As experienced product designers and developers, we will use your knowledge and challenge your thinking. We’re guides, we don’t agree with everything you put forward and will question an idea if we feel this will improve its potential for success.

We thrive on seeing our clients’ products come to life, reach the marketplace and be received with delight by the people they’re intended for. It gives us both professional and personal satisfaction and reward to know that we are helping our clients grow their businesses and succeed in achieving their goals.

We’re in it for the long term and we take great care to keep our client-designer partnership creative, productive and successful. Call us on +61 39561 5810 for a confidential discussion about your product ideas and plans.

Paul Connor
Paul Connor
paulc@whistledesign.com.au

A proud co-founder of Whistle Design Group, Paul lives for the challenge of reinvigorating brands and product lines through the development of new and innovative products. With his many years of experience as an entrepreneur, industrial designer and mechanical engineer, Paul has developed a unique and broad skillset. He has a deep understanding of the many technical and commercial challenges faced during new product development. He is passionate about sharing his experience with staff and clients to help them achieve brilliant results.