Talk It Out, 

Or Write It Down?Thoughts on communicating digital experience design
the next 30 min
1. What is this guy talking about?

2. Evaluate process with 5 questions

3. Real-world scenarios

4. Take...
Hi, I’m mike
I consult with early-stage product companies

to help them create awesome digital experiences

!
@jefftheturt...
At the time that I was asked to speak to you,

I was co-teaching UXD at General Assembly.

When teaching, Core UX values

...
We are meant to empathize with our users

and advocate for their needs

!
That we are meant to instill purpose

in product...
“Your scientists were so preoccupied

with whether or not they could, they 

never stopped to think if they should”
– Dr. ...
Spread the “why”
•We all agree that our work should be research driven…but we are
practiced in being investigative

•We ha...
Unless you are a one-person product company, 

design work never occurs in a vacuum.

Unicorns are great, But it’s all 

a...
Consistent Methodology,

Tailored process
•Embracing communication starts by accepting that 

one size does not fit all

•...
Evaluate your task’s goals and resources

!
Customize the macro approach

!
Employ a standard library of deliverables
1
2
...
When you kick off a project, start here.

5 questions that will Ensure 

everyone profits
1. What is our environment?
•Are we working in-house at a product company, 

as a freelancer, at an agency, for ourselves?...
2. Where are my developers?
•Are my developers sitting next to me, on the other side

of the office, or on the other side ...
3. What stages of the project 

are UXD’s directly involved in?
•Are we in the room from day 1 to completion? Or are we

r...
4. To whom are we handing off?
•Are we presenting to a group or 1 to 1?

•Is the primary recipient a designer, a developer...
5. How long is the lifespan 

of our deliverables?
•Are they selling an idea or providing actual reference

for future act...
Funded digital product company

Consumer application

MVP live in the app store

Senior internal design & tech team

!
Mid...
Re-envisioning an IOS App:
Process
Audit of existing
research data
Additional user/
competitive research
Documentation /
p...
Consumer goods company

Customer audience

No prior version

Internal design, social media, & tech team

!
In-house Wordpr...
Bailing out a marketing blog
Process
Audit of existing
design
Audit of existing user
research
SketchingAdditional research...
Constantly self-evaluate your process looking 

for means to improve the communication

!
Respect your collaborators, resp...
Thank you
Questions?
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Talk It Out, Or Write It Down?

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Thoughts on communicating digital experience design. Presented at UX Boston Meetup 5/22/14.
http://www.meetup.com/uxboston/events/158164912/

Published in: Design, Technology, Business
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Talk It Out, Or Write It Down?

  1. 1. Talk It Out, 
 Or Write It Down?Thoughts on communicating digital experience design
  2. 2. the next 30 min 1. What is this guy talking about? 2. Evaluate process with 5 questions 3. Real-world scenarios 4. Takeaways / Q&A
  3. 3. Hi, I’m mike I consult with early-stage product companies
 to help them create awesome digital experiences ! @jefftheturtle
  4. 4. At the time that I was asked to speak to you,
 I was co-teaching UXD at General Assembly. When teaching, Core UX values
 were on my brain more than ever. Not  me
  5. 5. We are meant to empathize with our users
 and advocate for their needs ! That we are meant to instill purpose
 in products and experiences ! We are meant to educate our collaborators
 on the human centered design process 1 2 3 I believe…
  6. 6. “Your scientists were so preoccupied
 with whether or not they could, they 
 never stopped to think if they should” – Dr. Ian Malcom
  7. 7. Spread the “why” •We all agree that our work should be research driven…but we are practiced in being investigative •We have to be as adept at communicating our informed
 reasoning to our collective team as we are at forming it •Top quality design is more than the sum of our deliverables
  8. 8. Unless you are a one-person product company, 
 design work never occurs in a vacuum. Unicorns are great, But it’s all 
 about playing well with others.
  9. 9. Consistent Methodology,
 Tailored process •Embracing communication starts by accepting that 
 one size does not fit all •Even in a stable company, the environmental elements 
 that impact a project will always vary •Advocate for the time to evaluate process just as you
 we evaluate our design problems •Don’t abandon methodology, scale it •Talk, talk, talk, talk… then consider what to write down
  10. 10. Evaluate your task’s goals and resources
 ! Customize the macro approach
 ! Employ a standard library of deliverables 1 2 3 To be custom yet consistent… Be  really,  really  respectful  of  your  team4
  11. 11. When you kick off a project, start here. 5 questions that will Ensure 
 everyone profits
  12. 12. 1. What is our environment? •Are we working in-house at a product company, 
 as a freelancer, at an agency, for ourselves? •Are we bootstrapped? Funded? Part of a marketing
 campaign? Retained? •Is this a new concept or an evolution/iteration? •How established is our team? Seasoned together, recently
 assembled, cross-department? Are we all in one place?
  13. 13. 2. Where are my developers? •Are my developers sitting next to me, on the other side
 of the office, or on the other side of the ocean? •Are there natural communication barriers such as 
 language, technical vocabulary, or time zone? •Are their software formats they are not adept at using?
  14. 14. 3. What stages of the project 
 are UXD’s directly involved in? •Are we in the room from day 1 to completion? Or are we
 responsible for just research, just strategy, just design, 
 just development, or some combination of several? •Do we have equal voice? Do we own a particular stage but are subordinate in others? •Did we weigh in on scope or has that been predetermined?
  15. 15. 4. To whom are we handing off? •Are we presenting to a group or 1 to 1? •Is the primary recipient a designer, a developer, 
 a project manager, or a business stakeholder? •Is the recipient in place because of their hard skills or 
 because of their bureaucratic position? What is their 
 level of design/tech knowledge?
  16. 16. 5. How long is the lifespan 
 of our deliverables? •Are they selling an idea or providing actual reference
 for future actions? •Do they instantly get converted into a new format or 
 do they maintain their original format during ongoing use? •Are they digitally or physically archived?
  17. 17. Funded digital product company Consumer application MVP live in the app store
 Senior internal design & tech team ! Mid-sized Eastern European agency Dedicated project staff ! Research, strategy, concepting, 
 UX design, visual design ! Deliverables presented to internal design & tech leadership
 UX documents are appended to Jira stories Devs begin from UX handoff, prior to visual design ! Rapid agile development, deliverables are “archived” quickly Example 1 Re-envisioning an IOS App Environment Developers Involvement Hand Off Lifespan
  18. 18. Re-envisioning an IOS App: Process Audit of existing research data Additional user/ competitive research Documentation / presentation of strategic approach Updated personas Steps 1-4 were independent from sprints Steps 5-7 were modularized and integrated with development sprints Paper prototyping Invision prototyping Annotated wireframes
  19. 19. Consumer goods company Customer audience No prior version
 Internal design, social media, & tech team ! In-house Wordpress dev Dedicated project staff ! Visual design, QA ! Deliverables presented to project management, design, 
 and social media stakeholders UX documents used by dev in support of 
 Photoshop comps to fill in the blanks ! Deliverables are trashed once dev is complete Example 2 In-Progress marketing blog Environment Developers Involvement Hand Off Lifespan
  20. 20. Bailing out a marketing blog Process Audit of existing design Audit of existing user research SketchingAdditional research Steps 1-6 were completed after visual design and prior to development Annotated zone diagrams Strategic presentation
  21. 21. Constantly self-evaluate your process looking 
 for means to improve the communication ! Respect your collaborators, respect you scope, 
 and create documentation accordingly ! Never abandon UX methodology, but always 
 scale to achieve maximum efficiency 1 2 3 Takeaways…
  22. 22. Thank you Questions?

×