❓"Have you worked with a UX designer before?"
Overcommunicate to minimize the risk of misunderstanding.
This week, you are looking at the Olympic Aquatic Centre in Beijing. I remember standing next to it back in 2012 (or around that time) and thinking about how meta the design of this building was. Reminds me of the witty logos where the nature of the business is encompassed in their logo (some examples). Fascinating!
Recently, I had an interesting observation.
When starting work on a new project with a new team, a designer often starts with a universal set of common questions to better understand the context of the project: "Why are we doing this?", "Who is our target audience?", "What do we know about the users?", "What assumptions are we making?", "What will happen if we don't do this now?", etc.
However, when working with many different stakeholders for the first time, one of the most important risks that I've found is when the new project partners don't know how to get the most out of a UX designer. When working in an agency model, when your team supports multiple it's important to remind yourself that it's safer to over-communicate and don't assume everyone is on the same page.
This includes the team's previous experience working with a UX designer. It's better to make sure there is no misunderstanding about what your role is and how collaboration should happen for the best possible results.
So, these days, one of my very first questions to a new project team or group of stakeholders is:
Have you worked with a UX designer before?
Sadly, too often I hear "never", or "once". This means a more guided and "educational" approach to this partnership is essential to get alignment on who, what, when, and why, and minimize potential misunderstanding. Think of yourself as a teacher and coach even more in such cases 🧑🏫
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