Mick McQuaid

3/1/23

Week EIGHT

# Greever (2020) on Clients

## The big meeting

• For the pitch meeting, communicating the designs was more important than the designs!
• Time spent designing was small compared to time spent preparing the pitches
• Client could have derailed the months-long effort in a minute

## What makes a good design good?

• Is it good use of space?
• Is it simplicity?
• Is it when you can’t remove anything?
• What do you think?

## None of these!

• Greever claims that these are internal to the designer and don’t respect the need to communicate
• Everyone is a designer in their own mind, just as everyone is a music critic even if they can’t play
• Good design is, to some degree, subjective (but there are design features like symmetry and tension that play across cultures and epochs)

## The power to say no

• Clients are not monolithic
• Many people may have the power to say no for different reasons
• They’re all stakeholders

## And yet, design by committee doesn’t work

• People disagree
• People get defensive when they disagree
• People fail to focus on the issues when they get defensive
• Grumbling compromise results

• Home screens or pages become a catchall
• Different stakeholders believe their thing will work if it’s more prominent

## Communication is the job

• Most stakeholder issues can be explained as miscommunication or misunderstanding
• Designers must be communicators
• Setting expectations
• Following instructions
• Articulating product and process

## What is “articulate”?

Understand your message and understand the desired response

## Being articulate includes

• Imparting intelligence $\Rightarrow$ trustworthiness
• Demonstrating intentionality $\Rightarrow$ purpose and focus
• Expressing confidence $\Rightarrow$ you mean what you say
• Showing respect $\Rightarrow$ plays well with others

## Greever’s definition of good design

• Solves a problem
• Easy for the users
• Supported by everyone

## By the way, my definition of good design is

When the client and users have no regrets, that is good design!

## Solving a problem

• Metrics matter
• What matters most to stakeholders?
• Introspection helps intuition
• Constantly ask how what you’re doing solves the problem
• Keep writing about the problem and solution

## Make it easy

• Ask how each thing you do affects the user (can’t always be sure)
• Write (and revise) a user story

## Get everyone’s support

• Not getting support means going over the same ground over and over
• Getting support is Greever’s primary focus
• Support $\neq$ agreement
• Get forward momentum, not consensus

## Ask over and over why this beats alternatives

• This means thinking of and thinking through alternatives
• This means anticipating how stakeholders will react
• It’s worth listing alternatives and problems they face
• Maybe wireframe alternatives

• What problem does it solve?
• How does it affect the user?
• Why is it better than the alternative?

# Greever (2020) on Stakeholders

## What you must do

• Improve stakeholder relationships
• Earn stakeholder trust
• Establish stakeholder rapport

## Apply UX principles to stakeholders

• Study stakeholders just as you study users
• Empathy for stakeholder
• Perspective of stakeholder

## Building the relationship

• See stakeholders as human
• Create shared experiences with stakeholders
• Develop empathy for stakeholders
• Ask good questions of stakeholders

# Mock client time

• Break into pairs
• One of you is the client
• Client conveys desire for shopping app to designer
• Designer tries to understand the client
• Client doesn’t have to make it easy!
• Switch roles
1. Take five minutes to prepare
2. During that time, client thinks about what they want in a shopping app
3. During that time, designer thinks about how they can elicit info
4. Come together for the interview
5. Repeat Steps 1–4

# References

Greever, Tom. 2020. Articulating Design Decisions: Communicate with Stakeholders, Keep Your Sanity, and Deliver the Best User Experience. 2nd ed. O’Reilly Media.

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