Pitching is one of the most important skills for any UX designer to have. Your ability to pitch clients well naturally permeates your UX design outcomes. Knowing what makes a perfect pitch is something that undoubtedly comes with practice, but your pitches can be effective if you prepare them meticulously. Whether you’re working for a multinational design agency or are an independent UX designer, your design solutions are only as good as they appear to your clients. Therefore, a good design that you pitch poorly has very little impact.
Throughout all my years pitching designs to clients, there have been highlights and lowlights. Over the years, I’ve isolated what has worked well from what hasn’t. I’ve picked up the best ideas from how others pitch and formulated and refined my own approach to pitching. You can do the same. In this column, I’ll share my specific approach to pitching, including five strategies that have helped me impress my clients. Whether you’re a rookie UX designer or seasoned veteran, incorporating some or all of these pitching strategies can elevate your pitching skills to the next level. Read More
Agile development has recently captured the imagination of many software development teams—and with good reason: its focus on producing working software quickly is well suited to today’s fast-paced markets. But how do you go about combining agile with user-centered design (UCD) so you can enjoy the benefits of both approaches? On the face of it, they should work well together because both philosophies are iterative, incorporating testing with users and refinement. But in practice, they often conflict with one another.
An agile approach such as Scrum tries to minimize up-front planning in favor of producing working code quickly. Plus, agile generally prefers in-situ workshops for gathering requirements, while UCD largely favors up-front user research. Agile also uses working software as its primary measure of progress, while UCD focuses on whether users can easily achieve their goals—with or without software. To add to these discrepancies, because agile is typically led by developers, while UX professionals usually drive UCD, the differences between these two approaches can result in political conflicts in many companies. Read More
Autumn is a great time to be a New Englander. While autumnal beauty happens all over the world, New England is the place to be in the United States. Sitting on my back deck and looking at the forest behind my house is one of my favorite ways to get inspired. One day, as I was watching the leaves swirl and fall, I started thinking about user experience and consulting. Weird, I know, but as each leaf fell, I realized that, while each leaf seems small, enough of them will eventually cover the entire ground. If you rake too early, you will have to repeat the process multiple times. If you wait until every single leaf is off a tree, your job becomes that much harder. With leaves, this is a game every New Englander plays. When should you pay attention to them? Read More