As an inquisitive designer, whenever I’m reading articles online or listening to podcasts about UX, I look for lessons that I can apply to my work. In an interview about the process of design, Jared Spool, Maker of Awesomeness at Center Centre and UIE, refers to it as a series of “capture the flag” events. Each of these flags act as checkpoints, for a design team that help visualise the progress in the design process.
However, as a designer in a team you might not always be involved with a project from its inception. More likely, you are responsible for redesigning an existing product for a third party company. Therefore, from the designer’s perspective, in order to contribute to the team, it is essential to take control over the storytelling throughout the design process.
Two “flags” that can help achieve this agency are prototyping and presentation.
From UX Documentation to Presentation
Daniel Burka, Design Partner at GV, refers to a designer as an “olive branch” who has the ability to quickly produce prototypes for everyone to see and discuss rather than debating endlessly on something that has different versions in everyone’s head.
It is through the prototype that your personas, user journeys and scenarios become “actionable” elements. It acts as a foundation for bringing the research together. Additionally, it resembles the designer’s effort in streamlining the design based on conscious decision making rather than abstract reasoning.
Once the prototype is ready, you have the elements to help control the narrative of your product.
Presentation of Design
Now, it’s time to present your design to your peers and stakeholders. You might be one of the leading contributors of your team, but failing to communicate your design may stunt your overall progress.
It is good practice to make sure you :
- Provide Context: Frame the story around what you are going to present
- Set Expectations: Outline boundaries before talking about the problem
- Share your Rational: Once you’ve introduced the problem, recommend solutions and explain why they would work, based on the context.
This is another opportunity to show you are in control of your narrative through precise explanation of your design process with the help of your prototype.
“Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.” – Aristotle
This design journey of mastering the skills of prototyping and communicating design allows a designer to add massive value to any team. We at Graphic Mint believe that these flags play a vital role in engaging others in your work and convince them to push the idea together. Additionally, with the introduction of ProductStrategy.ie we can now help your product team envision and elevate your product to the next level.