Being a product designer is sometimes a solitary pursuit or, at best, like being on an assembly line where you receive requirements, design solutions, and hand-off deliverables to engineering. But the best product designers are constantly collaborating and have several partners.

Working alone makes it easy to become protective of your ideas. When someone criticizes your design choices, you may feel personally attacked. Collaborating creates a safe space to exchange ideas without judgment and accept constructive feedback without feeling defensive.

The collaboration safe space will make you a better designer. You will generate more ideas before choosing a direction and refining it, and you will check your own biases and uncover mistakes and blind spots. Fresh perspectives will make you more confident in sharing your designs with a broader audience.

Instead of working in a vacuum, open your mind to ideas from other people. Share ideas early and often, and keep the lines of communication open. Create prototypes and share deliverables with developers as soon as they are ready.

Collaboration Partners

Design - Collaborating with other designers can run the gamut from color, typography, iconography, and composition to interaction patterns and consistency, team dynamics, or research opportunities.

Engineering - Engineers know the technical limitations and possibilities of any solution. They also bring ideas to life.

Product Management (PM) - Besides gathering requirements, PMs often see a product's bigger picture and can provide context to design solutions that serve long-term goals.

Customer Success (CS) - CS teams know your customer's product usage, feature requests, and pain points. They can also be a liaison to the ultimate collaboration: talking directly to customers.

Sales Engineering (SE) - Like CS, SEs are close to your product's customers and are acutely aware of pain points and areas for improving onboarding.