Designing for the User: Differences Between a Good and a Great Designer

Differences Between a Good and a Great Designer

When it comes to design, creating something that is visually pleasing is important, but it’s equally important to keep the user in mind. After all, the purpose of any design is to communicate a message or serve a function, and if it doesn’t do that effectively, it’s not really successful. So what are the differences between a good and a great designer?

A good designer not only knows the basics of design but also understands how to make the design intuitive for the user. This means taking into consideration the user’s needs, preferences, and behavior to create an experience that is easy to use and enjoyable. For instance, choosing the right font size and color contrast can make a huge difference in how easily a user can read and navigate through the design.

But what sets a great designer apart is the ability to not only give the client what they asked for, but also to provide something unexpected, something that the client might not have thought of. This requires taking the client’s needs and wants into consideration, but then elevating the design to a new level, creating something that is not just functional but also inspiring and delightful.


We asked FYC Labs Head of Design Brianne Fortier:

What makes a good designer and what makes a great designer?


“To be a competent designer, one must possess a solid grasp of design fundamentals and apply them in an intuitive manner that considers the end user’s needs. A good designer is capable of producing visually appealing designs while maintaining proper font sizes and color contrast.

However, being a great designer requires going beyond meeting the client’s expectations and delivering something that exceeds their initial vision. A great designer takes the client’s desires into account and elevates them to the next level by incorporating unexpected elements. This is accomplished while still prioritizing user needs and maintaining a balance between form and function.

Ultimately, a great designer is one who can successfully achieve these objectives while creating a visually stunning final product that serves the client’s goals and the user’s needs.”

Brianne Fortier

At the heart of all great design is a focus on the user. A great designer doesn’t design for themselves or even for the client alone; they design for the end user, with the client’s goals and objectives in mind. By doing so, they create designs that not only look beautiful but also work well and engage the user in a meaningful way.


What are the three things to keep in mind when designing for the user?


“One important consideration is to ensure ease of navigation, as it’s crucial not to confuse or lose the user. Additionally, users typically don’t want to read lengthy paragraphs when visiting a site, so it’s essential to be concise and present information in an easy-to-read manner.

Regarding color selection, it’s crucial to choose a pleasing color scheme that does not strain the user’s eyes. The goal is for users to be able to browse the website without experiencing any discomfort or eye strain.”

Brianne Fortier

Designing for the user is about understanding their needs and behavior, and creating designs that are intuitive and easy to use. But being a great designer requires taking it a step further, by giving the client something unexpected and delightful, while still keeping the user at the forefront of the design process. Ultimately, great design is about achieving a balance between aesthetics, functionality, and user experience, and creating designs that not only meet the client’s objectives but also delight and engage the user.


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Strategies for Boosting Motivation and Engagement in Your Team

Boosting Motivation and Engagement

Motivation and engagement are key components of building a successful team. Motivation refers to the drive, energy, and enthusiasm that individuals bring to their work. Engagement refers to their level of involvement and commitment to the team’s goals. Leaders must focus on fostering a motivated and engaged team. This leads to higher productivity, better performance, and increased job satisfaction.

Let’s discuss some effective strategies for boosting motivation and engagement in your team.


We asked FYC Labs COO Phillip Lorenzo:

How would you drive employee engagement across the entire organization?


To drive employee engagement across an organization, the first step is to ensure that the team chemistry is strong and collaborative. It’s important to understand the purpose of the engagement, whether it’s team building, improving work efficiency, or fulfilling a specific goal. A sense of purpose is more important than happiness in the workplace. To persuade employees to engage, if the team chemistry is strong, it should be easy. If it’s not, then you need to work on a more individual level and understand each employee’s characteristics. The key is to make sure that the engagement has a purpose and that everyone feels fulfilled.

Phillip Lorenzo

Understanding Motivation and Engagement


Motivation and engagement are closely linked to employee performance. When employees are motivated and engaged, they are more likely to perform at their best, be more productive, and contribute to the success of the team. On the other hand, when motivation and engagement are lacking, performance can suffer.

Unfortunately, there are several common barriers to motivation and engagement in the workplace. Lack of clear goals, poor communication, and limited opportunities for growth and development can be some of them. Overcoming these barriers is crucial to boosting motivation and engagement within your team.


Strategies for Boosting Motivation and Engagement


Creating a Positive Work Environment – Creating a positive work environment involves several factors, including good communication, positive relationships, recognition and appreciation, and work-life balance. Leaders can foster a positive work environment by encouraging open communication, promoting teamwork, recognizing employee achievements, providing opportunities for growth and development, and prioritizing employee well-being.


Providing Clear Expectations and Goals – Clear expectations and goals are essential to keeping your team motivated and engaged. As a leader, it is important to communicate these expectations and goals effectively. This means setting clear and achievable goals, providing regular feedback on progress, and ensuring that employees have the necessary resources and support to meet these goals. Additionally, taking the time to listen to your team and understand their individual strengths and development areas can help you tailor your communication and support to their specific needs.


Encouraging Growth and Development – Employees want to feel like they are continuously learning and advancing in their careers. Offering training programs, mentorship opportunities, and career development plans can help employees feel invested in their roles. It can also motivate them to achieve their goals. Employers can also encourage growth and development by providing stretch assignments, cross-functional projects, and opportunities to attend industry conferences or events. By investing in their employee’s growth and development, employers can foster a culture of learning and engagement. That ultimately benefits the entire organization.


Recognizing and Rewarding Achievements – Effective ways to recognize and reward achievements include verbal recognition, bonuses or incentives, promotions, and opportunities for professional growth and development. It is important to tailor the recognition and rewards to each individual’s preferences and needs. Different people are motivated by different things. By implementing a thoughtful and personalized recognition and rewards system, employers can create a positive and motivating work environment that encourages employees to strive for excellence.


Fostering a Collaborative Culture – By promoting collaboration, team members can share ideas, learn from one another, and achieve shared goals. When team members work together, they can tackle complex projects more effectively, and they feel more invested in their work. A collaborative culture can also create a sense of community and belonging within the team. This can boost employee morale and motivation. To foster collaboration in the team, it’s important to create a supportive and inclusive work environment, encourage communication and feedback, provide opportunities for team building and group problem-solving, and recognize and reward teamwork and collaboration.

We asked FYC Labs COO Phillip Lorenzo:

What is the best way to keep your team motivated?


To me, purpose is the driving force that keeps us going. We often seek comfort, but when we avoid challenging ourselves, taking risks, and stepping out of our comfort zones, we lose sight of our purpose. The key question we should always ask ourselves is, how can we find our purpose? The ideal job is one that provides us with purpose and challenge every day. It’s forcing us to constantly rethink and push ourselves.

As a C-level executive or manager, it’s our job to help our team members find purpose by setting achievable milestones and providing guidance and support. We should also encourage and embrace mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning, rather than punishing or belittling our team members.
Motivation comes from purpose and the challenges that come with it. When we have a clear purpose and a goal to strive for, we are motivated to work towards it. In a supportive and encouraging work environment like FYC, where mistakes are accepted and questions are welcomed, team members can feel motivated and confident in their work.

However, when a company lacks support and encouragement for its team members, motivation suffers. People cannot feel motivated when they feel like the company is not backing them up or rooting for their success. Therefore, it is crucial for leaders to create a culture that fosters motivation and purpose. This way the team members can feel supported and driven to achieve their goals.

Phillip Lorenzo

Putting Strategies into Action


  • Assessing Your Team’s Needs is an important first step in boosting motivation and engagement levels. There are several ways to assess your team’s current state, such as conducting surveys, holding one-on-one meetings, and analyzing performance metrics. Once you have a clear understanding of your team’s needs, you can move on to Implementing Strategies. It’s important to choose strategies that align with your team’s specific needs and preferences.


  • Some tips for implementing strategies effectively include setting clear goals, providing the necessary resources, and ensuring consistent communication. Finally, Monitoring and Adjusting is crucial to ensure that the strategies are effective. Regularly check in with your team and analyze performance metrics to assess the impact of the strategies. Based on the results, make adjustments as necessary to continue fueling your team’s success.


  • Boosting motivation and engagement in your team can have a significant impact on their performance and the overall success of the organization. By creating a positive work environment, setting clear expectations and goals, offering growth and development opportunities, providing recognition and rewards, and fostering a collaborative culture, you can effectively motivate and engage your team.


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Introducing Our Partner – Mixte

Our partner Mixte

FYC Labs proudly introduces our partner Mixte Communications- a renowned social justice communications agency committed to creating positive change. Mixte’s innovative approach to strategic communications emphasizes equity and community empowerment.


About Mixte:

Life is short — our choices matter.

That’s the truth that guides all of us at Mixte Communications, an immigrant-owned, woman-owned and values-run agency. It’s why we’ve chosen to build our business around helping social change agents to define their space — from strategic partnerships, to insightful media stories and thoughtful strategies across digital channels.


Our clients are grassroots organizations striving for change and the businesses who see they can build a better way. We’re honored to support them with digital marketing, public relations and strategic communications, and we bring an intentional approach to our work. We’re especially proud of our Mixte Momentum Model — a proprietary communications framework to achieve justice.


Of course, you don’t have to just take it from us! 2023 marked our second year being recognized with excellence for Best Boutique Agency for our commitment to equity. This award joins several others we’ve received for projects with incredible changemakers like Earthjustice, the American Council on ExerciseLeague of Women Voters of California and more.

Mixte is full of powerful storytellers and creative minds. Here, all of us choose to use our power to fight for equity and justice.


Curious for more? Let’s stay connected:

Check out more of the FYC partners!

Strategies for Small Business Persistence and Growth in Challenging Times

Strategies for Small Business

Small businesses face a unique set of challenges that can make it difficult to survive and thrive. For starters, they often lack the resources and economies of scale that larger businesses enjoy. This can make it harder to compete on price and marketing efforts. Small businesses may also struggle to access capital, as they may not have the track record or collateral needed to secure loans or investments. Additionally, they may face regulatory hurdles, labor shortages, and other operational challenges. All this can make it tough to keep the doors open. Despite these obstacles, small business owners continue to find creative ways to innovate and succeed, often by tapping into their unique strengths and entrepreneurial spirit. Let’s discuss some small business strategies for persistence and growth in challenging times.


Know Your Customer


Understanding your target audience and their needs is critical for the success of any business. Without this understanding, it can be difficult to create products or services that meet their expectations and preferences. By understanding your target audience, you can tailor your marketing efforts, product development, and customer service to their specific needs and desires. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, higher sales, and a more positive reputation for your business. By gathering customer feedback and using it to inform your decisions, you can create a customer-focused culture within your business that prioritizes meeting their needs and exceeding their expectations. Ultimately, understanding your target audience is a key component of building a successful and sustainable business.


We asked FYC LABS’s CFO Graham Peck:

What is the best way for small businesses to keep their existing customers?


“Retaining existing customers is easier than acquiring new ones, though both are critical for business success. Ensuring fairness and transparency in all your dealings, such as contracts and invoicing, is essential to maintaining good client relationships. Another important factor is having a great team. At FYC, our high customer satisfaction is largely due to our talented and dedicated team members who go above and beyond to meet our clients’ needs. To keep both existing and potential customers satisfied, it’s crucial to have exceptional people on your team and as clients. Clear and open communication between your team and clients is also crucial to building a culture of transparency and trust.”

Graham Peck

Build a Strong Brand


You brand is what sets you apart from your competitors and creates a unique identity for your products or services. For small businesses, building a strong brand is especially important, as it can help establish credibility and trust with potential customers. A strong brand can also create a loyal customer base that is more likely to return to your business and recommend it to others. Additionally, a well-defined brand can help you differentiate your business from competitors and attract new customers. By investing in your brand and ensuring that it is consistent across all touchpoints, you can build a strong foundation for your business and increase your chances of long-term success.


Develop a Solid Business Plan


Having a clear vision and plan for your business is essential for success, as it provides a roadmap for achieving your goals and ensures that everyone in your organization is working towards a common objective. A clear vision can help you define your purpose, values, and long-term objectives, while a well-crafted plan can help you break those objectives down into actionable steps. Without a clear plan in place, it can be difficult to prioritize tasks, allocate resources, and make informed decisions about your business. Additionally, having a solid plan can help you anticipate potential challenges and identify opportunities for growth. By creating a clear vision and plan for your business, you can ensure that you are working towards a specific goal and increase your chances of achieving sustainable success.


Manage Your Finances Effectively


Small businesses face a variety of financial challenges that can make it difficult to maintain profitability and growth. One major challenge is cash flow, which refers to the timing of when money flows into and out of the business. Small businesses may struggle with cash flow due to slow-paying customers, seasonal fluctuations, or unexpected expenses. Taxes are also a significant financial burden for small businesses, as they may be subject to a complex array of federal, state, and local taxes, as well as payroll taxes for employees.

Additionally, small businesses may have difficulty accessing funding, as traditional lenders may be hesitant to lend to businesses without a track record of success or substantial collateral. Alternative funding options such as crowdfunding or microloans may be available, but they often come with higher interest rates or stricter terms. By understanding these financial challenges and seeking out resources to address them, small business owners can better position themselves for success.


Cultivate a Strong Team


Having a strong team allows you to leverage the collective skills, knowledge, and experience of your employees. A strong team can help you achieve better results, meet deadlines, and tackle complex projects more effectively. It can also create a positive work culture that fosters collaboration, creativity, and innovation. By hiring the right people, training them effectively, and providing ongoing support and feedback, you can create a team that is invested in your business’s success and committed to achieving your goals. Ultimately, a strong team can help your business stay competitive, adapt to changes in the market, and achieve sustainable growth over time.



Small businesses play a significant role in driving economic activity and creating jobs in the United States. However, they also face unique challenges such as limited resources, financial constraints, and regulatory hurdles that can hinder their growth and success. By understanding their target audience, building a strong brand, developing a solid business plan, managing their finances effectively, and cultivating a strong team, small business owners can increase their chances of long-term success. Despite the obstacles they face, small business owners continue to demonstrate their entrepreneurial spirit and resilience, finding innovative ways to succeed and thrive in an ever-changing market. With the right strategies and mindset, small businesses can continue to play a vital role in driving economic growth and creating opportunities for individuals and communities alike.


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