Monday, May 11, 2009

Approaching Design: Advice on how to really rock in UI / UX design

On my honor I will do my best? (Boy Scout Oath) ...

"The longer I do this job, the more I think that there are certain qualities, or attitudes that can make a real difference to ones ability to get better designs implemented, and generally enjoy the job more. Here’s my hopefully controversial list of qualities that will help you really rock.

Be Respectful

Focus on trying to understand and empathize with the people you work with…they are smart people and do difficult jobs. Respect will come easy after that.

With respect and understanding comes trust… and if you really want to design something great the first thing you need is the trust of the people you work with and respect from them.

Be Collaborative

Moving from design dictator to design facilitator is a shift towards true collaboration. Design within a multidisciplinary team (is there any other type of team?) requires a shared vision and if you really want things to happen then sharing decision making and taking people on a journey towards an agreed solution is a great place to start.

Learn to move from “dictating” the UX design to “facilitating” the UX design… and watch how people really pick up your design and run with it.

Be Trusting

I think its essential to trust that people are doing their best, and that if they say “that’s to hard”, or “we should rethink this” then trusting that its coming from a good place will, if nothing else, help you approach the conversation about why its hard in the right way.

Investing trust in the business is also essential, questioning every business decision they make is not exactly going to help – so trust that these guys are actually thinking about their jobs and that their priority decision are considered. This doesn’t mean you can attempt to better understand where they are coming from , but again, if nothing else trust will help you approach the conversation in the right way.

Dive deep into the data

This may seem like a strange one to add, but as a UX designer I think one of the most important things is to understand the underlying foundation of what “can” make up your design. In the end I think applications are very simple, all you need to understand is that there is data at one end (e.g. the XML returned in some API) and there is your application interface at the other end. Its rare that you can make fundamental changes to the underlying data, but you have almost complete freedom (in a new application) in deciding what to do with that data. The page flows, the presentation and passing of that data is in your hands."    (Continued via the architecture of everything)    [Usability Resources]

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