How to Master Communication + Messaging

As it turns out, designers and developers spend a lot of waking hours going back and forth, trying to figure out how, exactly, to execute a design properly and to the client’s satisfaction. We may spend time collaborating and trying to understand the roles of those around us: What do they need? Where are they coming from to the project? Why do they think the way they do?

The tools and approaches we choose to use in our daily workflow mean a lot in the grand scheme of our work. Because they’re ultimately the tools used to communicate our intended message – through our design.

Whether you’re a designer or developer (or a hybrid model), you’ll be more productive (and successful) if you can get on the same page with communication.

So, what’s the first step? Achieving understanding. Sounds easy, but sometimes we lack the words and perspective needed to see where that developer, UX designer or project manager is coming from. It’s deciding to engage with the developer’s point of view, (or perhaps the visual piece, in addition to the code) …

How does this happen? Through selecting the best approaches and interactive tools to help us effectively communicate – with ourselves, our clients and our audiences.


photo from Shutterstock

Where Effective Communication Reigns

When we launched the HOW Interactive Design Conference in 2011, we were motivated by our success of HOW Design Live and the increasing need to serve web designers and help folks make the transition to the web and digital products. We were driven to help designers learn the tools and strategies to better communicate their needs and skills across the evolving tech and media– and resist throwing over the proverbial wall and actually engage the other pieces of the puzzle.

Because good design is always about communication.

Now, in 2014, we’ve expanded our repertoire of shows to include, not one, but three HIDC events–because we know that designers remain in various transitional phases of their careers. Whether you’re a seasoned print designer looking to dip you toe into the digital world, or your a working web designer who needs to know more about crafting responsive websites, our interactive conference meets you where you are and helps to close the gap of ill communication.

As you interact with team members, clients and industry experts, and the importance of common ground and understanding continues to resurface, consider how you can do your part in learning how to talk to your fellow coworkers with greater fluency. If we can’t unite our design teams on how to communicate with each other, the processes to implement and the tools to use, chances are we’re not giving the client the best product we can produce.

At the HOW Interactive Design Conference taking place in the heart of emerging tech, San Francisco, you’ll hear from the industry’s heroes on how to communicate with the developer over your shoulder. Why does the developer in the cube next to you resist mocking up designs in Photoshop? You’ll find out why understanding her language is a critical step toward greater success.

Communication (or the lack thereof) plays a significant role in the world of web design. BUT, that doesn’t mean that collaboration is easy or makes for smooth workflow. That’s why it’s important to look beyond yourself and your immediate surroundings for a professional experience you can count on to deliver the expertise you need to work better.


Choosing the right event can seem confusing or daunting, especially when the market for web design events is saturated and, in some cases, very discipline specific.

At HOW Interactive Design Conference, you can count on:

  • A better understanding of responsive web design, right from the source himself, Ethan Marcotte
  • Compelling case studies from design superstars who want to walk you through their successes and failures at leading brands
  • Sessions on design process, data, engagement and more
  • The legacy of HOW’s excellence that permeates every corner of the event
  • Hours of tactical takeaways to bring back to your desk and try out in your next design project
  • Access to speakers and attendees who understand where you are and what challenges you face
  • Content strategy dreamteam with Jonathon Colman and Sara Wachter-Boettcher to address content and communication from various angles – helping to make your daily exchanges with colleagues and clients a lot less awkward and your design strategy better

content strategy

Content, architecture, interaction design and user experience need to work together to solve problems as a team. In the best experiences, including many of the ones we use every day, it’s often hard to tell where design ends and content begins. That’s where the magic happens. – Jonathon Colman, content strategist at Facebook

If you’ve been on the fence, it’s not too late to grab a seat at HOW Interactive Design Conference San Francisco.