When is design advice helpful, and when is it not?

In certain contexts, looking “professional” is crucial. This involves investing in professional design. Design advice provides the knowledge and guidance necessary to implement professional design, aiding you in achieving a clear and appealing appearance.

Here are three objectives where investing in professional design can prove beneficial and help you to win your audience:

1. When you aim to create a positive impression and build trust

Your audience will perceive the effort you’ve invested in your appearance, conveying competence, motivation, and a genuine appreciation for the audience. Similar to going on a date, where conscious choices about your appearance, scent, and words aim to create a positive impression and build trust.

2. When you make your content accessible to a broader audience

Your peers, experts in your field, possess the background knowledge to comprehend your content, even if it isn’t presented in a highly elaborate way.

On the other hand, individuals who aren’t experts in your field require guidance. The content needs be presented in a manner that helps them concentrate on the important message you want to get across.

3. When you seek to improve your design skills faster

Acquiring skills takes time. Learning accelerates when someone mentors you, offering tips and feedback. Design advice not only enhances your specific example but also educates you on universal design principles, aiding in refining your future designs.


Whenever you want something from someone, it’s beneficial to elaborate on your message and tailor it to your audience.

Potential scenarios include:

  • When you apply for funding or defend a grant application
  • When you write and submit a paper
  • When you want your patients to trust and follow your advice

If you want to amplify your learning trajectory, design advice can help.

When design advice is not helpful

1. When you haven’t yet learned how to use a design software

Design advice requires you, at the very least, be proficient in basic design software like PowerPoint, Canva, or BioRender, as well as any professional or specialised visualization tools such as Illustrator, Photoshop, or ChimeraX, etc. Design advice is not focused on teaching how to use design or visualisation software but rather on learning and applying design principles.

If you’re unfamiliar with the design or visualisation software, you may not witness transformative results in a one-hour session. Simultaneously learning how to use the software and adapting the design can be time-consuming and overwhelming, potentially hindering the effectiveness of the learning process.

2. When you don’t have a specific design case

Design advice is most helpful when applied to an existing design example that you want to improve.

Design principles are universal, but each case is unique. If you’ve just started learning about design principles, it can be challenging to grasp them using an abstract or unrelated example. Applying these principles to your specific design case becomes easier when using relevant examples.

Receiving design advice for your real-life case, especially one used for an important cause, proves to be much more beneficial, because

  • you train on a representative design case for your work.
  • you not only enhance your design skills but also acquire an improved design piece that can be applied to your specific case.

I hope this article assists you in determining when design advice is beneficial and when it may not be.

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Categorised as Business

By Shau Chung Shin

I am a designer, businesswoman and founder of HAHAHA Global and Gesund in MeinerStadt. I develop solutions and products that encourage an open and positive approach to taboos. In doing so, I contribute to a healthier and more peaceful world.

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