1. Communicate Effectively
Communication with the designer is the single most important ingredient in producing great visual content together. Neither you nor the designer can read minds, so ideas, thoughts and concerns that are left un-communicated will not be in the final graphic. Be thorough, specific, and responsive in your communication.
2. Know Your Role -- And the Designer’s
Tell your story, but let the designer design. The message of the visualization is ultimately up to you. While some designers might excel at writing copy or telling a story, that's the exception -- not the rule. The designer can translate your story into graphical form, but unless you provide the plot, the visualization may not live up to its full potential.
3. Is Your Data or Information Good Enough?
With data, it’s garbage in -- garbage out. You cannot make great visual content with a lousy data set. Sometimes it's just too hard to get a good story out of the data and trying to force it might put you into unethical territory. A great data set will sell itself and will only require creativity to shape it into a compelling story. The more effort you put into finding quality data, the more your designer has to work with and the better your visualization will be.
4. Trust Your Designer
Trusting your designer often leads to better results. While it's important for you to decide and control the message and style, the designer will have a good grip on the specifics of the design. All Visual.ly designers have created quality visualizations before. They are experienced and can help you through the process, especially if you are new to data visualization. If you have concerns, please read #1 again.
5. Respect the Process to Avoid Scope-Creep
Sticking to the official revision process will reduce stress on everyone involved. While you can communicate with the designer as much as you like, there are two official opportunities to reflect, comment, and make changes to the draft. It is important to be comprehensive for the process to work.