UXPA Boston 2015: Delicious Design (Sengers & Chaffee)
Rachel Sengers and Jennifer Chaffee collaborate on IxD and Visual Design at Design for Context, and presented at UXPA Boston 2015. They specialize in complex transactional applications.
“T-Shaped practitioner” proposed by IDEO
- a core speciality + breadth across specialities
- Lots of skills overlap between IxDs and Visual Designers.
- If we collaborate, will have a stronger outcome.
Creating a productive working arrangement
- On each project, negotiate who’s going to do what
- Know each other’s skills, preferences, career goals well
- How can we help each other to facilitate other’s work?
- Planning involves creative brief, user & business analysis, etc.
Collaborating & iterating on wireframes
- Identify patterns in the wireframes so that graphic design is most efficient
- Will also simplify coding if consistent patterns are well mapped
- Keeping patterns consistent make it easier to improve with better visual design after feedback
- Conflict between too-similar affordances: Visual Designers have deep visual vocabulary to leverage in usability issues
- Visual designer thrives on realistic content (lipsum text “doesn’t tell me anything”)
- How does the content need to scale?
- Show the content hierarchy so that visuals can reinforce it
- Bring visual designer in early to develop a shared understanding
- Without mental framework, hard to make design decisions
- Annotate wireframes well, but don’t throw over the wall; conversation is key
Facilitating change during visual design
- IxD is in more user sessions, so it’s her responsibility to communicate to visual designer and be voice of user in critique
- Don’t want the designer to simply color in shapes - need to enable opportunities for change
- IxD should point out challenging areas to visual designer, inviting change
- Point out areas that warrant extra design exploration
- Also, point out “must be”s so it’s clear when something can’t change (and don’t need to waste time reinventing the wheel)
- Often problem can be solved visually rather than with interaction or placement
- Focus on key screens when time/budget is tight
Creating a collaborative environment
- Support exploration, sharing ideas, solving problems, reviewing work in progress, and create new ideas
- Can be real or virtual environment
- Use GoToMeeting to work remotely together
- Helps to provide rationale for visual design decisions (again, no throwing over the wall)
- Will explain color, typography, imagery, layout
- Rationale deters subjective responses
- Good to know what’s been tried and what didn’t work
- In critique, make sure that what is working doesn’t get washed out by what still needs improvement
- Review planning documents to make sure that you’re still on track