Pattern: Treat it like a project
Apply a project framework to a situation. Looking at the conflict through the rigid structure of a project lens, you can identify what you need to solve the problem. Projects consist of goals, parameters, requirements, activities, and outputs. Defining elements yield schedules and assignments and risks and dependencies. Projects establish a framework for working together. Using a lens to look at...
Self-Awareness: Elements of default style
Know what aspects of design are hallmarks of your style. Some design challenges will respond favorably to your style, but others will demand breaking the mould. For most designers, “style” is their go-to concept, the collection of patterns, tricks, and licks that they apply immediately to any design problem. Leaning on your go-to concept as a way to break the ice makes sense, but...
Situation: Distracted by shiny objects
Team members lose focus of project objectives because they see something novel, and wonder how it might fit into their project. ”Shiny objects” is the favored term for ideas that have captured the imagination of the public or the industry. These ideas get a lot of play in industry press, and quickly make their way into design conversations: “Why can’t our site be more...
Situation: Distracted by the competition
Members of the project team lose focus on project objectives because they are distracted by a competitor. This competitor may be outside the company, but is often inside the organization — a separate team working toward the same, overlapping, or competing objectives. The effect: Project teams can’t operate efficiently because resources are diverted to “deal with” the...
Self-Awareness: Your agenda for peer reviews
Know what format and structure for peer reviews helps you the most. For some designers, the peer review is a great opportunity to get feedback on initial concepts and ideas. In these conversations, the designers hash out the design direction, ignoring details and ensuring they’ve solved the core problem. For others, designers lean on peer reviews to help flesh out the details of a...
Self-Awareness: Your trigger
Know what it takes to bring out your best design work. For some designers, the trigger is a relatively low bar: simply putting a design challenge in front of them is enough to start the creative process. For others, they need to reach a tipping point. The higher that point, the more energy it will take to get to get the best design work. One high bar is total project failure. In this case, the...