Demystifying Design: Fewer secrets, bigger impacts

7d2cd3a3963c695094f7e2f6aa93698e?s=47 Jeff Gothelf
February 05, 2012

Demystifying Design: Fewer secrets, bigger impacts

This is the talk I gave in Dublin, Ireland at Interaction 12 describing how designers need to demystify their processes to improve team cohesion, collaboration and productivity.


Jeff Gothelf

February 05, 2012


  1. 2.

    Who am I? interaction designer. team leader. author. jeff gothelf

    currently: principal at proof author @ o’reilly (lean ux, 2012) previously: publicis modem, webtrends, aol, fidelity, tons o’startups blog: twitter: @jboogie email: #demystify
  2. 8.

    #demystify | @jboogie Software development often feels like a circus

    looks like someone here got the wrong invitation
  3. 12.

    #demystify | @jboogie Mystery insulates designers keeps us warm in

    winter, cool in summer (well, all the time right?) Mystery
  4. 13.

    #demystify | @jboogie Ultimately, though, mystery is detrimental initially to

    the team, then the product and ultimately the company
  5. 14.

    #demystify | @jboogie The team separates into artificial silos which

    quickly degenerates into us vs. them
  6. 15.

    #demystify | @jboogie There is no common language leaving both

    sides feeling misunderstood
  7. 16.

    #demystify | @jboogie Shuttle diplomacy pushes the project along puts

    the project manager in the middle
  8. 17.

    #demystify | @jboogie Without transparency there is no trust trust

    is core to the team’s success
  9. 18.

    #demystify | @jboogie This is nothing new the efficacy of

    collaboration is directly related to team cohesion The Role of Team and Task Characteristics in R & D Team Collaborative Problem Solving and Productivity Robert C. Dailey Management Science Vol. 24, No. 15 (Nov., 1978), pp. 1579-1588 “the collaborative problem solving-productivity relationship was …shown [to be] sensitive to high and low levels for each of four predictors …task certainty, task interdependence, team size, and team cohesiveness.”
  10. 19.

    #demystify | @jboogie Designers must demystify the way we work

    the onus is on us
  11. 20.

    #demystify | @jboogie We must welcome our colleagues into our

    world we’ve got nothing to hide
  12. 21.

    #demystify | @jboogie Demystification is powerful it reveals the entire

    design process
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    #demystify | @jboogie Design is hard your colleagues should know

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    #demystify | @jboogie The team’s fingerprints will show up in

    the work they begin to own the work along with the designer
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    #demystify | @jboogie This won’t come easy – at first

    inevitably, we’ll get in our own way “The process laid out here — a delusion of happy collaboration between bean counters, stressed out clients and business minded account managers and, presumably, somewhere in the mix, designers — would be an unproductive clusterfuck for any capable designer. Input is one thing — valuable, in its place. But clients want design to solve hard problems, and to solve them beautifully and brilliantly. Pandering to people on the team by earnestly seeking opinions and and then making sure those wayward, uninformed, and wrong opinions are manifest in the product dilutes quality.” -jmaharry, october 15th, 2011 posted as a response to “demystifying design”on a list apart
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    #demystify | @jboogie Does this mean everyone is a designer?

    does this mean i’m no longer the hero?
  17. 27.

    #demystify | @jboogie Your gut is showing and you may

    not like it
  18. 35.

    #demystify | @jboogie prototyping and iteration demystified putting the marshmallow

    on at the end always fails
  19. 36.

    #demystify | @jboogie Collaboration demystified too diversity in skillsets is

    key to succeeding as a team
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    #demystify | @jboogie Shared experiences build a common language helps

    teams solve problems in their real environments
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    #demystify | @jboogie 2. Show raw work (frequently) maintain the

    perception of malleability of the work
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    #demystify | @jboogie 3. Teach the discipline start building that

    common language
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    #demystify | @jboogie Fitts’ law the time required to rapidly

    move to a target area is a function of the distance of the target and the size of the target
  25. 56.

    #demystify | @jboogie kerning the process of adjusting the spacing

    between characters in a proportional font
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    #demystify | @jboogie We’re not inviting them to ours we

    should be Where are the “developers should learn to design” tweets? Never sent