How to avoid miscommunication with design agency

  • Mar 7, 2023
  • By: Slick
  • 7 min read

Miscommunication is one of the most common reasons when delivered results do not match requirements and vision of the startup. Lets look at what can be done to avoid it.

    There are several ways to go on with the UX design for your startup. You can hire a full time UX designer in your team or find some freelance designers. Though having someone full time in your team has its perks, it also comes with trade offs. It is getting more and more difficult to find high quality UX professionals, onboarding them and providing with all the tools that they need takes additional resources and efforts from your end…

    But these are not the only options for preparing UX designs for your startup. Alternatively, you can hire a UX design agency that will manage the whole process from scratch to end. Though working with a UX design agency is a completely different experience, depending on the goals and stage of your startup, this option might be a dream come true.

    In this blog post we will talk about how to work with a UX agency to get the best results and outcomes for your company. If you don’t have existing partner yet check our blog about choosing the right agency

    Key Challenge Of Working With UX Design Agency

    Like in everything else, it is critically important that you avoid miscommunication when building your product. This becomes especially challenging when you bring in third parties to help you with the development. Because unlike your team members, you have more limited communication with them. This is true for all the SDLC domains, not just UX design. 

    Miscommunication is one of the most common reasons when delivered results do not match requirements and vision of the startup. Let’s look at what can be done to avoid it.

    Eliminate Ambiguity

    Your main focus must be to eliminate ambiguity and bias. Make sure that you and the agency speak the same language and share the same vision. How can you do that?

    • Be clear and concise – Simplify your message;
    • Get to the point quickly and reduce number of ideas in each sentence;
    • Stay relevant – Stick to the main flow. Don’t change subjects;
    • Provide all the relevant documents – Document everything that you want to share. This way you can make sure that everybody involved in the design is sharing the same message.

    What documentation you should provide to the agency varies on the stage of your startup. Below we will share a list and description of all the documentation we recommend ready for sharing at each stage.

    Documentation To Share With Design Agency – Early stage startups 

    Products Value Proposition 

    What is it?

    A statement that clearly defines measurable benefits that prospective customers can expect when buying your product or service.

    Why is it important?

    A startup or organization can have the idea for the best product in the world. However, without properly communicating its value, the product will be doomed to be overlooked. It is critically important that a product’s value proposition is clearly communicated with the design team, so that they know exactly what needs to be built.

    Customer Acquisition & Maintenance Strategy

    What is it?

    A customer acquisition strategy is the high-level plan that will be used to onboard more customers. It includes all the activities and channels that will be used to connect with potential users. The strategy defines:

    • Customer Segments – Potential users and target audience that start up or organization will pursue.
    • Onboarding Strategy – How do you plan to onboard potential customers? Free trial? Free tier?…
    • Channels – Which channels do you want to pursue to acquire a user base? How will your product be primarily used? Desktop? Mobile? App?…
    • Maintenance Strategy – How do you plan to maintain onboarded customers?

    Why is it important?

    Key to onboarding new customers is having a proper Customer Journey Map. It is a visual depiction of all the steps a customer or prospect takes when interacting with your product with a specific goal in mind. For example, the path a visitor to your website takes to reach your trial-signup page. You might also develop a customer journey map to document the entire process a customer goes through to buy your product…

    To implement a customer journey map fitted for your product, it is essential that UX designers understand targeted audiences, channels and  your customer acquisition and maintenance strategy. Without it, the design team could simply fail to produce tangible UX.

    Customer acquisition now and then by Hubspot

    Competitor Analysis

    What is it?

    A competitor analysis is the research of your competitors strengths, weaknesses, products, and marketing strategies. Done properly, a competitor analysis can provide data that informs your strategy and business decisions.

    Why is it important?

    Competitor analysis can be a great tool for the design team to understand what other similar products are there on the market and how your product plans to be different from them.

    Documentation To Share With Design Agency – Validation & Growth Stage Startups

    Pitch Deck

    What is it?

    A pitch deck is a brief presentation that gives potential investors or clients an overview of your business plan, products, services and growth traction. They are primarily used to help someone else learn about your business quickly. 

    There are examples of pitch decks from successful startups available online. You can find presentations of Airbnb, Uber, Facebook and many others on this link:

    35+ Best Pitch Deck Examples from Successful Startups like Airbnb, Uber, Tesla + FREE Templates

    A pitch deck is usually a 10-20 slide presentation designed to give a short summary of your company. Find here the best 35+ pitch deck examples from successful startups like Airbnb, Uber, Tesla, free to download and get inspired.

    Why is it important?

    Startup businesses, especially SaaS startups, need a way to consolidate their ideas before they put in the respective effort to build their product or service. They need to be able to communicate — or pitch — their vision to investors, to their team and co-founders, to their partners and to their customers.

    Pitch deck can help ease communication with the design team and provide simple representation of problems the startup is trying to solve and the solution they want to pursue.

    Product Brief

    What is it?

    A product brief, or product spec, defines a product’s goals, attributes, and overall direction. It outlines requirements and key product information that is needed to build a new feature or product.

    Generally product brief should answer following questions:

    • What are we building and why?
    • Who are our competitors and how are they different?
    • What is the timeline?
    • How will the sucess be measured?…

    Why is it important?

    The purpose of the product brief is to keep all members of the product team on the same page and prevent unexpected outcomes as a new product is developed and brought to market. But it is also a living document that should invite collaboration and discussion as the team explores new ideas.

    MVP Definition & Scope

    What is it?

    MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. It is a product with just enough features to attract early adopter customers and validate a product idea early in the development cycle.

    Why is it important?

    MVP provides the design team with the understanding of  the scope UX needs to pursue. Though the final product will offer rich functionality, knowing the scope of the initial version will help the design team focus on what is needed at the moment. It’s important not to overthink your MVP scope especially if you’re a startups. It can lead to significant downsides. (For more check our blog about UI/UX mistakes


    We hoped we’ve dispelled some of the mysteries behind miscommunication among product teams. Keep in mind that whatever we discussed is true for every domain of SDLC, not just UX design. Stick with our recommendations as much as possible and you will never have to regret having a design agency as a partner.

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