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Articulating Design Decisions

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Every designer has had to justify designs to non-designers, yet most lack the ability to explain themselves in a way that is compelling and fosters agreement. The ability to effectively articulate design decisions is critical to the success of a project, because the most articulate person often wins. Our discussion will include principles, tactics, and actionable methods for talking about designs with executives, developers, or other stakeholders who have influence over the project with the goal of winning them over and creating the best user experience.

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Articulating Design Decisions

  1. 1. @tomgreever Articulating Design Decisions Communicate with stakeholders, keep your sanity, and deliver the best user experience.
  2. 2. @tomgreever “simplicity” “good use of space” “When you can’t remove anything else…”
  3. 3. @tomgreever We are terrible at talking about design
  4. 4. @tomgreever 1. Solves a problem 2. Easy for users 3. Supported by everyone
  5. 5. @tomgreever Great designer = great communicator
  6. 6. @tomgreever Why? UX has gone mainstream
  7. 7. @tomgreever The CEO Button An unusual or otherwise unexpected request from an executive to add a feature that completely destroys the balance of a project and undermines the very purpose of a designer’s existence
  8. 8. @tomgreever Homepage Syndrome A condition whereby the home screen of an application or website becomes a catch-all for everything, creating a garage-sale of links, buttons, and banner ads that unravels the fabric of usability, causing designers to cry themselves to sleep.
  9. 9. @tomgreever Approaching 1. What problem does this solve? 2. How does this affect the user? 3. Why is it better than the alternative?
  10. 10. @tomgreever Understanding 1. See their perspective 2. Remove distractions
  11. 11. @tomgreever
  12. 12. @tomgreever Understanding 1. See their perspective 2. Remove distractions 3. Anticipate reactions
  13. 13. @tomgreever Listening 1. Let them talk 2. Hear what they’re not saying
  14. 14. @tomgreever ― Peter Drucker, author & management consultant “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.”
  15. 15. @tomgreever
  16. 16. @tomgreever
  17. 17. @tomgreever Listening 1. Let them talk 2. Hear what they’re not saying 3. Uncover the (real) problem 4. Convert “Likes” into “Works” 5. Ask for examples
  18. 18. @tomgreever
  19. 19. @tomgreever Responding 1. Give up control 2. Lead with a YES! The first step to recovery is admitting you’re not in control
  20. 20. @tomgreever Tactics •Appeal to a nobler motive* •Show a comparison * Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People, 1936
  21. 21. @tomgreever
  22. 22. @tomgreever Tactics •Appeal to a nobler motive* •Show a comparison •Propose an alternative •Give them a choice •Postpone the decision
  23. 23. @tomgreever Common explanations • Facilitates a primary use case • Follows a common design pattern • Meets a particular goal • Data supports it • Complies with a standard • Limited by technology • Draws the user’s attention • Creates a flow for the user • Establishes branding
  24. 24. @tomgreever 1. What problem does this solve? 2. How does this affect the user? 3. Why is it better than the alternative?
  25. 25. @tomgreever Painting a Duck
  26. 26. @tomgreever Slides: bitovi.com/ux

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