- Paperback: 278 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (October 5, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1491921560
- ISBN-13: 978-1491921562
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 92 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Articulating Design Decisions: Communicate with Stakeholders, Keep Your Sanity, and Deliver the Best User Experience 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media
Aaron Irizarry, Director of UX at Nasdaq & author of Discussing Design
From the Back Cover
This practical guide focuses on principles, tactics, and actionable methods for presenting your designs. Whether you design UX, websites, or products, you'll learn how to win over anyone who has influence over the project--with the goal of creating the best experience for the end user.
- Walk through the process of preparing for and presenting your designs
- Understand stakeholder perspectives, and learn how to empathize with them
- Cultivate both implicit and explicit listening skills
- Learn tactics and formulas for expressing the most effective response to feedback
- Discover why the way you follow through is just as crucial as the meeting itself
- Educate your stakeholders by sharing the chapter from this book on how to work with designers
Top customer reviews
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One of the chapters that really hit home for me is early on in the book and talks about really understanding that your clients are humans and that their focus is not always 100% on the project at hand because they have so much else going on in their lives. It truly helps you build empathy and a greater understanding of why some clients might come off as rude, disinterested, or hard to deal with. For me it really made me reflect on past experiences and consider why the interactions we had happened in such a way.
The greatest strength of the book is that there are numerous real life examples, from Tom's on life, that really go into outstanding detail. His ability to recollect that information to such a degree really shows him to be an expert at building his arguments for his decisions. This also makes reading the book that much easier because it creates a very tangible explanation of the concepts that are discussed.
This book could even be considered as a translation of client talk that helps us understand how to decipher the feedback we are given. Clients may not understand design, but they can still understand when something is wrong or not communicated correctly. Tom goes into great detail helping the reader understand what it is that the client is asking for, or at least how to ask the right questions to get there.
There are several pages dedicated to handling alternative designs, accounting for why we made our decisions, and how to be prepared for the inevitable barrage of questions. This is an invaluable section as I feel like I see few people taking on the extra work that Tom puts in but the end result of it is that it actually saves you time, to put it short, it is very brilliant.
If you are a designer, developer, project manager, artist, or anyone who touches design at all, you need to pick this book up because it will only help you become better at your trade. I really do feel like this is going to be one of those classic books that becomes required reading for everyone.
Please, please read this book.
Tom opens the discussion up by explaining why clients, non-designers they are, have opinions about your work. This had never clicked with me before, but after realizing why stakeholders had so much to say about the position of my buttons and widgets, I could feel myself letting go of ego and pride, which gives me the clarity to uncover the actual problems the client is trying to solve.
Resources that teach you HOW to design are good (and plentiful). Resources that show you how to effectively communicate with clients and get sign-off are splendid. This book show you how to do just that.
Here are three:
Do we think our designs speak for themselves? Because the most articulate person often wins, we need to describe our designs to other people in a way that makes sense to them. (page 38)
Do we know what to say when stakeholders respond according to their likes and dislikes? Rephrase their response in a question that forces them to talk about it in a way that’s more helpful. (page 97)
Do we have a “no reflex” to suggestions that might not work or even seem impossible? Leading with a yes creates a space where everyone recognizes that we’re all on the same team. (page 108)
Even if you have learned most of these lessons the hard way, if you are a leader or mentor of less-experienced designers, you can read through this book together with them.
And if you aren’t a designer, but want to improve the way you work with designers, Tom wrote chapter 12 for you.
As a UX designer, I struggled the most with explaining my design decisions to a room of executives. This book helped me become a better designer and taught me to think differently about communicating my designs. My key takeaway was that presenting designs is a learnable skill — take time to write down design decisions, practice for meetings out loud, anticipate reactions, and continually build empathy for stakeholders.