Being a designer is more then creating logical user flows and sparkling UIs. A big part of the job is communication, advocating your work and evangelism. Apart from design critiques you will most likely encounter difficult conversations. Below are some cases and how you can mitigate those. In class we will discuss some other examples.
Convincing your manager to prioritize user testing
Don’t say: We need user testing because that is what a good design process is
Instead say: I have some concerns about the design approach for this project. It is clear to me that the conversion rate is very important but since it is a new feature/app/website and we can only rely on desk research. It would be great to have some quantitative user insights. If we do it early in the process the costs will be low and we avoid the risk of a bad user experience which will only increase the conversation early on.
Telling a client you will not make the deadline
Don’t say: I’m sorry, I can’t make the deadline on Friday, can we postpone it with a week?
Instead say: Know that this is okay, but be sure to be transparent about it. For example: Unfortunately it looks like we are not getting the deadline we were aiming at. We are still waiting for some user test results but it looks like we’ll have them by Friday. However, we have used this time to do some more research and it appears that the other direction seems a good alternative in case the development costs would get too high for the current solution. The point of the story is: be transparent and pro-active.
Telling your manager that the planning is a little tight to do proper research to get the results they want.
Don’t say: this planning is unrealistic
Instead: Show which activities you need to do to get to the desired result. Attach an estimated time to those activities and discuss which activities can be cut out and how that will impact the results. This way, they have a better understanding of your statement and you make the decision together.
In class we will be showcasing some portfolios and discuss why they are good or not - I am ready to take part of that discussion
In class you will be presented with some situations in a design critique session with peers or stakeholders - I am ready to be part of these situations and conversations
In class you will be presented with some situations where you’ll have to mitigate a tough conversation - I am ready to take on these conversations in a professional manner
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