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Getting the most from me (or any individual or agency) as a UX designer. November 22nd, 2011

Experience design is far more than a look, a wireframe or how something behaviours. It’s the sum of many disciplines and the insight they collectively provide.

Without insight and design research the ‘deliverables’ of the consultancy we offer our clients may look impressive but answer little. The ‘expected’ deliverables are only proven when interrogated and successfully hold their own when providing answers to all questions asked.

The design and definition of successful experiences requires the collaboration of many disciplines from across organisational divisions.

Problems, aspirations and expectations are collectively considered, developing during facilitation that creates shared agreements based on insights of the real needs and expectations users have of the services they interact with.

To be most effective requires an ongoing engagement thought-out a projects delivery. Ongoing involvement allows the unforeseen difficulties and opportunities that present themselves to be managed suitably, ensuring a considered experience is maintained.

Ensuring an effective and delightful experience develops requires more than intermittent UX involvement, we need to be involved from start to post deployment when our decisions are released into the wild and used in anger.

Our engagement should be continual and offers most value when each situation is evaluated in it’s own right. Experience suggests possible solutions together with those options best avoided however, each situation is unique, what’s worked before may not in a slightly different context.

Like many design disciplines digital has morphed with the development of new technology and emerging best practices. Unfortunately buying practices and account management has failed to keep up with these changing demands.

This problem is most acute in the traditional design agency big or small. Resource and budgets are tight, involvement often short and slight. With little opportunity to understand in any great detail the problems both understood and unknown – failing experiences all to often start to emerge at the 11th hour with little chance of being resolved satisfactorily.

Agency / consultancy and client relationships need to evolve to deliver on expectations and returns. A new business environment is emerging where collaboration is rewarded where ideas are shared and discussed openly.

Successful experiences only develop from on going relationships – days or weeks don’t suffice, deliverables are more than wireframes and interaction definitions and importantly experience is not the same as the look.

Users and clients demand seamless cross channel experiences, such experiences are more than digital. The role of the Experience designer is far reaching, an experienced professional understands design theory, codes what they prototype, has an affiliation with the audience and the ability translate business requirement into tangible stories stake holders can agree upon and developers build.

This is what I do.

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