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Articulating Design Decisions: Communicate with Stakeholders, Keep Your Sanity, and Deliver the Best User Experience 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1491921562
ISBN-10: 1491921560
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Christian Manzella, VP of UX & Design at Moz
"It's too easy for designers to fall into vernacular and unintentionally obscure what they're really trying to say. Tom's book creates an easy-to-use and wonderful framework for communicating design in plain language, increasing the likelihood that stakeholders will understand what you're presenting."

Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media
"Articulating Design Decisions by Tom Greever will change the way designers talk about design. Get it, read it." 
twitter.com/timoreilly/status/655137807669702656


Aaron Irizarry, Director of UX at Nasdaq & author of Discussing Design
"Tom has done a great job tackling one of the more difficult aspects of design... taking to others who aren't designers and sharing the how and why of the design decisions that you made."


Richard Banfield, CEO of Fresh Tilled Soil and author of Design Leadership
"While most books on design mention these communication issues as a sidebar or a footnote, Tom gives us an entire book of tried and tested tools to make designers expert communicators. True to its title it is easy to read and even easier to recommend. As the principle of a UX design firm I'm thrilled that Tom has given us this gem of a book."

From the Back Cover

Talking to people about your designs might seem like a basic skill, but it can be difficult to do efficiently and well. And, in many cases, how you communicate about your work with stakeholders, clients, and other non-designers is more critical than the designs themselves--simply because the most articulate person usually wins.

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
  •  
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Product Details

  • 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: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

From the Publisher

Articulating Design Decisions Articulating Design Decisions Articulating Design Decisions
Book Online Video DVD (video)
Format Availability Print & Kindle Windows Mac / PC

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
As designers we know designing should be an iterative process and this book delves into teaching how to navigate this process by improving your communication skills. I specially liked the idea of keeping in mind the human side of the design practice: we are not only designing for human, we are also humans creating the designs. Therefore we need to truly connect with the people that will make possible those designs. This connection is what can enable us to work as a team and produce the best user experiences.

Plus the book is a joy to read as it combines great story telling and practical advice. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
Tom and O'Reilly have put together a great book. It's approachable and casual while maintaining an intelligent and authoritative air, which is exactly the kind of thing Tom is encouraging all designers (or anyone interacting with stakeholders really) to do.

ADD goes from personal anecdote, to practical advice, and back. This makes the reading interesting, the information helpful, and the ways to apply his experiences and subsequent take-aways to your own life/career a straightforward process. The information Tom provides in this book feels so obvious and intuitive. Yet while reading it, I found myself realising I was only practicing half or so of the techniques he suggests, despite years of experience working with a wide range of clients. The things I did already know and do mindfully, I found validating to see someone else express in a published book. A great way to shore up some confidence, and build upon that foundation.

Overall, this is a great book. It's easy to read. It's not about the nitty-gritty of technical design process. It's a higher-level book that discusses concepts and techniques that will help you be a better person and a better designer to work with. After all, no one works in a vacuum (except vacuum repairmen and astronauts).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I value this book like a Mormon boy values his scriptures. I keep two physical copies in the house and one next to the seat of my car. Of course, I also keep the digital version with me in my Kindle app and even purchased a PDF version from O'Reilly to use on my iPad Pro so I can write in the margins all of the inspirational thoughts induced by reading the book. I even make it a point to read every footnote, highlighting the ones that really stand out to me, for better understanding of the context. I find that when I don't read even just a couple of paragraphs of this book each day I fall into the temptations of not articulating my design decisions as well, or even at all. As an amateur designer turned developer, I feel like it has helped me to not only better communicate with stakeholders in projects in which I'm involved, but also has given me methods, vocabulary, and a better angle for speaking with designers.
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Format: Paperback
Informative; clearly written; and entertaining, Articulating Design Decisions is a must-read for front-end developers. If you sit down at 9, start programming, and clock out at 5 without ever communicating with anyone, then you don't need to read it. If you talk to stakeholders, managers, or non-engineer team members at any time during the day, you'll learn something from this book.

Developers increasingly need to become good communicators for the same reason designers do. The industry is changing, the scope of our responsibilities is changing, and frankly we just can't get away with using big words to scare away stakeholders anymore. In the first couple chapters of the book, you'll learn why it's so important for you to communicate clearly.

Most people will still assume an engineer knows better than them. Designers don't have this luxury, so they are forced to articulate their thoughts and choices in the way anyone working on a front-end project should. Clear communication will not only save time and effort, it will help you think more clearly. Stakeholders will be happier the better you communicate.

Articulating Design Decisions will improve your career and quite possibly your day-to-day happiness. It will help you understand the perspectives of everyone you work with, which will make working with them easier (and help you get what you want).

Articulating Design Decisions contains essential lessons for designers. It's nearly impossible to be a good designer without being a good communicator. As a developer, you can get by without this skill set--but you shouldn't try. This book will help you develop a skill that many other developers are missing. This will improve your job prospects and open up additional opportunities.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Articulating Design Decisions is a must have book for anyone in the creative field, I'd even argue that people who are solely developers, and rarely touch designs should read it too. Tom has done an excellent job in tackling the issues that we all face when explaining our choices to our clients and the rest of the team.

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.
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