Indispensable business knowledge for designers



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A huge mindset gap exists between designers and their clients, causing problems for both sides. If you bridge this gap using business knowledge, you become an indispensable high-touch consultant.

We invited Jane Portman, the UI/UX designer behind UI Breakfast, to talk about how to use business skills to launch your own products, build an audience, and treat your own services as a product.

Watch Jane’s full talk below, or read on for our short recap.


Jane’s 3 steps for becoming an indispensable high-touch consultant

Jane confessed that she’s been a designer for more than 10 years, but it was only in the last 3 years that she gained the business knowledge she shares in her talk. Follow the 3 steps below, she says, and you’ll be well on your way to a fantastic designer-client relationship.

  1. Understand your place in the universe. When you’re working with clients, remember that design isn’t the most important thing in their eyes. So, you’ll need to prove your worth using terms they understand. Always tie your UI skills back to how it’ll make your client more money.
  2. “Always tie your UI skills back to how it’ll make your client more money.”
  3. Study business essentials. Learning more about business, you’ll not only be able talk to your client about how your design will make them more money, but you’ll be able to apply that knowledge to your own design practice. In her slides, Jane gave countless resources for you to increase your knowledge about consulting, product development, copywriting, and marketing.
  4. Practice in your own product sandbox. Creating your own products allows you to practice the entire business cycle, build an audience for future projects, and create authority in your space—all things that make you an indispensable consultant to your clients. Jane gives step-by-step details on how to start creating your own products and what to focus on. Watch the video above for her great advice!

Last, but certainly not least, we love these sketchnotes that Andy McNally created during the talk:


Margaret Kelsey
Margaret Kelsey leads content marketing at Appcues. Before Appcues, she built content programs for InVision’s design community for 3.5 years and has roots in painting and PR. She’s a big fan of puns, Blackbird Donuts, and Oxford commas—probably in that order.

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