Friday, December 01, 2006

So you Wanna be a Design Strategist? (Part 2)

More on skills needed to be a design strategist ...

"In part two of our So you Wanna be a Design Strategist? series, Bryan Zmijewski outlines four more of the eleven skills of a Design Strategist. Be sure to check out part one of the series first.

4. Real-time performance
The best business people are ones who can adjust their thinking quickly. Pressed with tough decisions, they must be able to rally a team around business and financial goals and plans. If a big deal is on the line, tough decisions have to be made quickly…and once decided, they’re done. You can't hit CTRL-Z to 'undo' a business deal.

Design should be no different. As a designer you must be able to use your unique skills of visual thinking to rally people in a room. While this may come more naturally to some over others, it is a skill that will improve with practice. You need to be comfortable presenting whiteboard sketches in front of a group--no matter how much you wish you could call a time out to whip up something on your laptop, you'll lose momentum. If you can’t think and draw at the same time you’re going to limit your ability to listen to other ideas in the room--so practice at your own internal meetings until you're ready for your public debut.

5. Balance prep with w/ implementation
Everyone likes to see that you’ve done your homework--lists, research, interviews, overviews and competitive reviews. It’s an important part of the process of designing ‘stuff’. It validates that there is thinking involved.

Sometimes, however, it makes sense to just jump into a problem based on your hunch and your experience, and then go back and think through all the homework parts. There are times when simply taking action, creating movement and momentum are preferable to investing loads of time up front--in other words, sometimes any action, even a potentially 'wrong' one, is better than no action at all. It’s the blue-collar part of design that the rest of the business world lacks…that good ole roll up your sleeves and just get it done.

6. Justify decisions with the right kind (and amount) of research
7. Everyone is a design expert"    (Continued via Functioning Form)    [Usability Resources]

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