Send me problems, not wireframes(

5 years ago from Ariel Verber, Product Designer

  • Sean LesterSean Lester, 5 years ago

    My process, right or wrong, is to take whatever is given (sometimes loose guidelines, sometimes wires) and make one version very quickly that hits the high level and then take that to the PM. This is in the context of being a designer internal to a large product company. The other designers on my team don't do as well here because of the difference between my approach and theirs. They want to take a long time to put together a few highly polishes ideas to pitch — but they're really just wasting time. In my experience, it's best to get my idea of what the PM wants out to them as quickly as possible so we can look at it and I can tell them "Here's the problem with what you want to do. What I think would be better is if we did this."

    Like you said, a lot of times they don't fully know what they want or even totally understand what they're asking for — once you get something as concrete as a high fidelity mock or prototype in front of them it's far easier to clarify their thoughts in greater detail or disabuse them of ideas that aren't going to work so that you can explore better solutions.

    That said, we're dealing (and not just me) with a big problem of endless iteration cycles and pivoting on goals and directions late into the lifecycle of these projects and we desperately need to find a solution to it because at this point we're designing in circles for far too long, then shipping a terrible "compromise" — discover in tests that it isn't working and typically circle back to something closer to my initial intuitions or proposals. Not to be arrogant, I don't think I've always got the answers, it just is very frustrating to be consistently treated as lower the decision hierarchy while the people who have supremacy in it are proven wrong time and time again. PMs are not designers, and you can't just "discover" good UX somewhere between a PM and a product designer who is treated as a visual designer — particularly when the relationship is hierarchical.

    2 points