Marketing, branding and communication cannot be owned by one department in the business. It needs to be the mindset of the entire corporation.
We need to give ourselves permission to be the person with an idea. We all deserve a shot at making our ideas real. Don’t just think about your ideas but carry them through.
We ask tough questions of our clients and their industries. We need to know: Why are things done this way? What problem is it solving? What can we get rid of to make it simpler? Designers are receptive to new input by definition, and that makes us inherently more malleable than other kinds of workers.
This adaptability means designers are not only adept at facing change, but also at initiating it.
We were able to achieve something iconic without imposing a big engineering effort on the internal components. As a designer, you have to be sensitive to the economic realities of the people you’re working with. You can’t always lead them down the path of going custom every step of the way. Good design has to be thoughtful. I think it’s more than just the aesthetic consideration that you have to take into account.
Old stuff, but still relevant! IDEO, 1999
“Vote with your post-it…not on an idea that’s cool but on an idea that’s cool and buildable.”
Ideas are not precious.
“It’s about getting it out there, putting it together and making it real. It’s not about working in isolation and getting it polished. Work quickly and roughly and get things moving.”
– An unofficial design principle
I had the privilege to tour a famous [undisclosed] design firm’s New York studio a couple weeks ago as part of SVA’s Interaction Design Summer Intensive program. While we weren’t allowed to take photographs, nothing keeps me from jotting down notes to reflect on later.
These are a few more of my favorite quotes that I definitely wanted to remember.
“Appreciate everyone’s experience as valuable input.”
“It’s about your work, talent, and passion. Create that work and add value. Show what you’re really capable of and people will see through to that.”
“You better fucking know that what you’re faking is what you really are. Be authentic. You better be moving closer and closer toward what you’re actually passionate about or you’re going to burn yourself out.”
“Work through a lot of things that might be relevant to what you think you’re interested in and find the shimmer of what really intrigues you. Dig it up, find it, cherish it.”
Fitting Big-Picture UX into Agile Development by Smashing Magazine
“Why bother adding a design owner? In mature organizations with multiple product offerings that share a unified visual, interactive or brand language, design owner may be responsible for consistency issues that etend beyond a given project. Design decisions and product decisions might be at odds, and making transparent the process of these two constituents discussing and exposing the acceptability of solutions is key to the transparency of the design sprint.”
“design prioritization is a different beast than product prioritization.”
“The goal of each [design] spike is not to produce potentially releasable code, but rather to provide actionable design decisions in the form of wireframes, mockups, prototypes or research.”
“The development team still functions as an autonomous decision-making unit. They simply now have the benefit of a holistically designed foundation on which to build.”
Frustration applies to the design, but delight applies to the experience.
I just want to throw it out there that I’m a huge fan of flat design, especially in UI, and always have been.
We’re a team of furniture designers and business strategists with a mission. Most furniture we see is too expensive, poorly designed, or falls apart within the first couple of months. That really, REALLY bothers us.
Aellon is built on four principles of good design: functionality, durability, sustainability and accessiblity. In other words, our furniture is sexy but simple, lasts generations, is environmentally and socially friendly, and won’t break the bank.
People often make of design as some sort of commercial spawn of art. It is not. Design is a discipline in itself, related to engineering, that uses some of art’s syntax. It is different from engineering in the sense that engineering looks after the efficiency and robustness of the product, and design looks at the interaction between the product and the human being.
UX reading on the bus
The Dominance of Marketing
Unfortunately, marketing-driven cultures often engage in feature wars with competitors. Sales demands the addition of features that will help them to close specific sales deals—perhaps to satisfy the demands of just one customer. Some product managers prioritize adding new features above all else, and the user experiences of their products fall prey to featuritis. Such forces are hard to resist, but it is incumbent on UX teams to do everything they can to dissuade product teams from creating products that are bloated with features most users won’t find useful.
The Dominance of Engineering
“In engineering-driven cultures, engineers have the ultimate power as the final arbiters of what goes into a digital product.”
In engineering-driven cultures, engineers have the ultimate power as the final arbiters of what goes into a digital product. After all, they’re the ones who actually build software products. In such cultures, products are commonly not implemented to spec. Engineers often feel free to “cherry pick a spec”—as Kim Goodwin has described this phenomenon—and implement only the parts of a specification they choose to follow.
Or perhaps, as Luke Wroblewski described in his column on UXmatters, “Developing the Invisible,” what you “get back is half of the design. By half of the design I mean that all of the features, content, and functions are there, and they are working as designed. … What’s missing is what’s invisible: alignment and whitespace.” These are subtleties that some engineers do not appreciate or care to bother about.
I read stuff like this all the time…but now I can laugh about how it’s all true based on my own experience. I’ve gone through similar situations of both of these scenarios and they’re both interesting animals.
We have more processing power, affordable tools, and combined intelligence right this very minute than at any point in the history of design. We are using it to build shit. It’s time to aim higher. Let’s find problems to solve that actually improve people’s lives.