designing better ux deliverables - cambridge usability group, 12 may 2014

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Slides from my talk at Cambridge Usability Group on the 12th of May 2014 Needing to produce some kind of deliverables throughout a project is inevitable: it might be user research reports to inform senior stakeholder; usability test results to communicate to developers; sketches and wireframes to pass on to web designers. Just as we make the products and services we design easy to use, the UX of UX is about communicating your thinking in a way that ensures that what you've defined is easy to understand for the reader. It's about adapting the work you do to the project in question and finding the right balance of making people want to look through your work whilst not spending unnecessary time on making it pretty.


  • ! ! Designing better UX deliverables by Anna Dahlstrm | @annadahlstrom Cambridge Usability Group, 12 May 2014
  • My name is Anna and today were going to talk about: ! How to adapt and sell your UX deliverable to the reader (from clients, your team, in house and outsourced developers) Guiding principles for creating good UX deliverables (both low and high fidelity) Best practice for presentations, personas, user journeys, flows, sitemaps, wireframes and other documents Simple, low effort but big impact tools for improving the visual presentation of your UX deliverables
  • Happy clown via Shutterstock Only joking. Thats not what this presentation will look like
  • If it did, I wouldnt blame you if you looked like this
  • What is so bad with this?
  • First of all, it makes you want to do this
  • Its really hard to read No breathing spacing ..and so much to read Lack of text indent & alignment
  • It contains unnecessary detail Its too wordy Its most likely what Ill say anyway
  • It just doesnt sell it Seriously?! Lazy!This lady just doesnt care This will be 1 hour Ill never get back of my life Im out of here Boring!
  • Today well look at... 1. A bit of background 2. Adapting to the reader, project & situation 3. Good examples 4. Guiding principles with DOs & DONTs 5. Practice 6. Q & A
  • 2007 I started working agency side
  • Much faster pace than what I was used to
  • From one to many clients & projects, at the same time
  • From tax applications to campaigns & large website redesigns
  • Strategic thinking & communication Selling my work became very important +
  • Creative approach to UX deliverables Open with less set templates +
  • Many talented people
  • Creative, communicative, & visually pleasing documents were a breeze for them
  • They made clients & internal people smile
  • For me... it took time
  • Advancing my wireframing skills was easy
  • Less so with the strategic experience design documents
  • I had to find my own style
  • Weekly one to ones
  • Critique, walk-throughs & tips was the best thing for my development
  • That & experimenting until I found my style
  • Since then Ive made clients & internal stakeholders & team members smile
  • Though thats not what its about, it was & continues to be one important aspect
  • Championing IA & UX internally as well as with clients was a big part of my job
  • It still is: the value of UX, collaboratively working & being involved from start to finish is not a given everywhere
  • Whoever our work is for, we always need to sell it
  • How much we need to put into it How we need to sell it To whom we need to sell it ! this all varies
  • Thats what were going to be looking at today
  • 2. Adapting to the reader, project & situation
  • We all know that what we do adds value
  • We recommend an approach & what to do Image via Shutterstock
  • Convincing others isnt always that easy
  • Which can result in these kind of situations Not enough budget Brought in too late Not enough time allocated No budget allocated The client doesnt prioritise it Not included in meetings The company doesnt prioritise it Deliverables & timelines are promised without consulting us No direct contact with the client I just dont know how to make it tangible
  • You need to understand where your peers in other disciplines are coming from and communicate the message of UX to them in terms they can understand. - Pabini Gabriel-Petit, UX Matters
  • Where we work Who the deliverable is for Why we do it How its going to be used ! impacts how to approach it
  • I asked a few people in different roles what they considered key with good UX deliverables
  • You need to produce a deliverable that meets the needs of the audience it's intended for: wireframes that communicate to designers, copy writers and technical architects... Experience strategy documents that matter to digital marketeers... - John Gibbard Associate Planning Director Dare
  • A good UX deliverable clearly communicates its purpose and what its trying to achieve. It anticipates any questions / scenarios which may be posed. ! - Nick Haley Head of User Experience Guardian News and Media
  • Its not something created for the sake of it. One of the reasons we dont do wireframes anymore is because of this. Instead my team creates html prototypes which live in a browser. I see developers refer to them all the time, without consulting the team. ! - Nick Haley Head of User Experience Guardian News and Media
  • One immediate conclusion can be made
  • Client side is different from having clients
  • In the past Id look for reams of documents going into great detail, but as a result of the proliferation in devices creating documentation is becoming too cumbersome. There needs to be some initial though into journeys, personas and use cases for sure, but the need for wireframes I think is reduced to identify the priority of content/functionality. ! - Alex Matthews Head of Creative Technology BBH, London
  • Instead we should be wireframing in code using a responsive framework so that we can immediately see how everything looks on all devices, and rapidly change how an element and its associated behaviours looks across all these devices. ! - Alex Matthews Head of Creative Technology BBH, London