Starting a new project can be both an exciting and daunting time for even the most experienced UX designer. Working with a new client on a new project could prove to be an exhilarating or an exhausting experience, depending on how an organization handles the project. There are a few things a designer can do to ensure that designing an experience becomes a memorable and enjoyable journey. The conversations a UX designer has with a client and stakeholders before a project begins lay a foundation and set everyone’s expectations for the process the project should follow. At the initial stage of a project, soak up as much knowledge as possible and prepare to make the most of this new opportunity.
It’s no secret that communication is the key to every successful project. However, at the very beginning, it can be hard to know what questions you should ask your client and which you can set aside. In this column, I’ll consider nine crucial questions you should invariably ask every client before embarking on a new project with them. 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
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