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De-jargonising design

De-jargonising design

Design is becoming fairly mainstream, a part of many projects, and frequently discussed in the business press. But still many people think it is all about making an interface look better. Why is this still happening?

Donna believes that there are many reasons this happens. One of the biggest contributors is the way designers use jargon. We also try to sell the idea of design instead of focusing on how it can be used to solve problems. And design really isn't one thing - it's a broad concept with a range of techniques and approaches.

She's in a new role where she has to teach her organisation what designers do, what problems they can help with and how they do it. And the organisation has to teach this to clients. So she's spent a lot of time working on how to make design concepts more concrete, less jargon-filled and ultimately more understandable.

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Donna Spencer

April 11, 2019
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  1. De-jargonising design Web Directions Design 2019

  2. About me 20+ years experience, mostly freelance 3 books: on

    IA and web writing Leading a new design capability in a traditional software company @maadonna
  3. How do I communciate what we do, so that other

    people can bring in the right work
  4. “DESIGN” HAS HIT THE MAINSTREAM

  5. None
  6. “What every executive needs to know about design” • Create

    experiences people love • User-centred • Understand emotions and desires • Know your competitors • Test, test and test some more https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/what-every-executive-needs- to-know-about-design
  7. “Making design a business priority” • think about customers •

    empathize with end users • try to solve problems while keeping its customers in mind https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/making-design-a-business-priority
  8. “The right way to lead design thinking” • Leverage empathy

    • Encourage divergence and navigate ambiguity • Rehearse new futures https://hbr.org/2019/03/the-right-way-to-lead-design-thinking
  9. “5 ways to get the most out of your design

    team” • Hire experienced design leaders • Take the handcuffs off design • Run experiments, lots of them • Have measurement mechanisms in place • Encourage broad design adoption https://hbr.org/2019/04/5-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-design-team
  10. “The business value of design” • Analytical leadership • Cross-functional

    talent • Continuous iteration • User experience https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey- design/our-insights/the-business-value-of-design
  11. https://designintech.report/2019/03/09/design-in-tech-report-2019/

  12. NO-ONE UNDERSTANDS IT

  13. Definitions Noun • A plan or drawing produced to show

    the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is made. Verb • Decide upon the look and functioning of (a building, garment, or other object), by making a detailed drawing of it.
  14. HOW WE CAN HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND

  15. But first…a tangent Animal Dog Dalmatian Furniture Table Boardroom table

  16. DESIGN IS…

  17. Not just ‘thinking about users’ but actually working with them

    Understand goals, tasks, needs Build empathy Accessible and inclusive User-centred Photo by Bec Ritchie on Unsplash
  18. Don’t take the straight path Explore many ideas Experiment Creative

    problem solving Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash
  19. Shared experiences “Alone and isolated within a company, design is

    a microworld of aesthetic high-fives.” John Maeda: https://designintech.report/2019/03/10/design-in-tech-report-2019-section-1-tbd-tech-x-business-x-design/
  20. Designing with people is more effective that doing design to

    them Deciding with not for
  21. Experimental and iterative

  22. Design without delivery is just hand-waving Implemented Photo by Fancycrave

    on Unsplash
  23. DESIGNERS AREN’T HOMOGENOUS

  24. Research Attention to detail Modelling Writing Storytelling Structuring Visual design

    Art direction Content creation Interviewing Communic ating complex concepts Facilitating Industry specific Programming Change mgt Cognition Platforms Organisational culture Marketing Product strategy Business strategy Research methods Design methods
  25. + mindset Pragmatic Idealistic Experimental Delivery Follow Question Perfect Approximate

  26. Research Attention to detail Modelling Writing Storytelling Structuring Visual design

    Art direction Content creation Interviewing Communic ating complex concepts Facilitating Industry specific Programming Change mgt Cognition Platforms Organisational culture Marketing Product strategy Business strategy Research methods Design methods Pragmatic Idealistic Experimental Delivery Follow Question Perfect Approximate
  27. Research Attention to detail Modelling Writing Storytelling Structuring Visual design

    Art direction Content creation Interviewing Communic ating complex concepts Facilitating Industry specific Programming Change mgt Cognition Platforms Organisational culture Marketing Product strategy Business strategy Research methods Design methods Pragmatic Idealistic Experimental Delivery Follow Question Perfect Approximate X X X X
  28. Research Attention to detail Modelling Writing Storytelling Structuring Visual design

    Art direction Content creation Interviewing Communic ating complex concepts Facilitating Industry specific Programming Change mgt Cognition Platforms Organisational culture Marketing Product strategy Business strategy Research methods Design methods Pragmatic Idealistic Experimental Delivery Follow Question Perfect Approximate X X X X
  29. Research Attention to detail Modelling Writing Storytellin g Structuring Visual

    design Art direction Content creation Interviewing Communic ating complex concepts Facilitating Industry specific Programming Change mgt Cognition Platforms Organisational culture Marketing Product strategy Business strategy Research methods Design methods Pragmatic Idealistic Experimental Delivery Follow Question Perfect Approximate X X X X
  30. Research Attention to detail Modelling Writing Storytelling Structuring Visual design

    Art direction Content creation Interviewing Communic ating complex concepts Facilitating Industry specific Programming Change mgt Cognition Platforms Organisational culture Marketing Product strategy Business strategy Research methods Design methods Pragmatic Idealistic Experimental Delivery Follow Question Perfect Approximate X X X X Does this have to be a designer?
  31. COMMUNICATING DESIGN

  32. Research Attention to detail Modelling Writing Storytelling Structuring Visual design

    Art direction Content creation Interviewing Communic ating complex concepts Facilitating Industry specific Programming Change mgt Cognition Platforms Organisational culture Marketing Product strategy Business strategy Research methods Design methods Pragmatic Idealistic Experimental Delivery Follow Question Perfect Approximate X X X X Who are you?
  33. Where are your gaps?

  34. Who is asking? What do they know? What are they

    asking? Who… Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash
  35. Things I hear from clients • Don't know what to

    do next • Need something to look good • Need detailed screen design done • Want to check an idea (feature, product) is a good one • Don't know about their users (or their stakeholders or anyone else who we can research) • Need to implement something new and not sure how
  36. Communicating design… Design is not one thing – communicate the

    chunks, not the concept Designers aren’t one thing – think about what you do Who is asking, what do they know, what do they need to know