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Designers Are From Mars, Engineers Are From Venus

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DESIGNERS ARE FROM MARS ENGINEERS ARE FROM VENUS Jack Cole - Design Director // July 20, 2015 / Page 1


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Motivate Design is a UX-led design and innovation firm based in New York City. We’ll translate your brand concept into engaging customer experiences that create value at every touch point. / Page 2


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W hassup? ABOUT ME • 16 yea rs as a user experience a nd desig n professiona l • Over 10 yea rs working within multi-disciplina r y in-house desig n a nd development orga nizations • Addicted to the “rush” of creative problem solving within a tea m environment • Loves being a pa r t of something bigger tha n myself / Page 3


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TONIGHT’S TOPIC So... W hat’s the Deal with the Cheesy Title? / Page 4


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I’M SORRY But Cheesy Titles Sell • Written by John Gray in 1993 • Sold more than 50 million copies • “Highest ranked work of non-fiction” of the 1990s (CNN) • Spent 121 weeks on the bestseller list I cover all of the basics to make any relationship easier, to make any relationship more successful and to improve communications so that you can get what you want in a relationship. - J O H N G R AY, P H . D , A U T H O R / Page 5


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THE PROBLEM W hy Can’t We All Just Get Along? / Page 6


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P RO B LE M S PACE Defining the Issue OPPORTUNITY B U T. . . At their best, Designers and Development Engineers can come together in order to do amazing things. Many from the two disciplines don’t see eye-to-eye causing friction and unnecessary roadblocks that can prevent success. / Page 7


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NOT A NEW TOPIC Just Google It... HAPPINESS & MAGIC 6 EASY STEPS IT JUST MAKES SENSE W hen designers If you trust the people ...designers and developers and developers work you work with , you can should work together together, they can focus on finishing your to create a more complete make magic happen . own tasks. web project. - JOHN BOTICA - KYLE FIELDER - CARRIE COUSINS WEB DEVELOPER, PRODUCT DESIGNER/ DESIGNMODO D I G I TA L T E L E PAT H Y MANAG ING DIREC TOR , THOUGHTBOT / Page 8


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KEEPIN’ IT REAL What Happens when Things Get Complicated? Many articles and interviews reference common best practices as primary B U T. . . advice to readers–great in principle but sometimes hard to do in real life SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE Familiarize yourself with the “lingo” and principles of your counterpart’s field of expertise EDUCATE Teach your counterpart the “basics” of your field of expertise CREATE TRUST Acknowledge and convey that “we’re all in it together” to form a bond and push towards success / Page 9


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PERSONAL EXPERIENCE My Story of Partnering with Software Engineers / Page 10


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S T O R Y O N E // B L A C K R O C K Follow th e S un (1 P roject , 4 Tim e Zo n es) PROJECT DESCRIPTION CHALLENGES Multi-national public facing overhaul • A dizzying array of stakeholders at all of digital footprint including: levels of the company with no one clear • Company-wide rebrand of visual identity decision maker • Fully-revamped CMS and support network • Redefined approach to content generation and distribution • Multi-platform global and regional layout structure and accompanying interaction library • Multiple teams (Marketing, IT/Dev, UX&D, Digital Services) at odds with global/ regional goals and objectives • Location, time zone and language, variances (New York, Princeton, San Francisco, London, Mumbai, Gurgaon) • Some teams unaccustomed to Agile Methodology / Page 11


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S T O R Y O N E // B L A C K R O C K What I Learned INTERPERSONAL SKILLS HOLISTIC STRATEGY FLEXIBILITY • Identification and alignment with primary development partners—proved crucial to any type of progress • Consideration of both end user expectations as well as internal system and content managers • Established a firm user experience and design presence within the project team to assure that development was not the only driver/decision maker related to identifying what was possible • Voluntary involvement in multi-disciplinary planning meetings in an effort to understand C-Suite level business requirements, ask questions, and collaborate with developers to offer potential solutions • Recognition of varied work schedules—fostered goodwill through holding meeting/ working sessions at times that were more than just conducive to the office where the UX team was located • Anticipated opportunities to over-deliver to assure clarity and consistency across a decentralized development team / Page 12


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S T O R Y T W O // T D A M E R I T R A D E Sav ing a Seat at th e Table PROJECT DESCRIPTION CHALLENGES Evolving the ease of use for investors • Multiple legacy back-end infrastructures to update profiles and preferences within in need of either sunsetting or a revamp TDA’s secure log-in environment: in order to make UX improvements • Review and assess the current information architecture, functionality, and interactions • Incorporate the profiles and preferences • Over-leveraged project managers causing potential lags in the progress of the effort • Development engineers traditionally user experience and infrastructure to be accustomed to receiving requirements/ in line with other recently redesigned design concepts and building with little TDA domains engagement with outside team members • Connect user preference choices to CRM network to improve customer relationship responsiveness / Page 13


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S T O R Y T W O // T D A M E R I T R A D E What I Learned INCLUSION INQUIRE TO EDUCATE TRANSPARENCY • Recognized issues with • Actively engaged PMs and • Explanation of design thinking previous releases being the development to understand and approach in random lack of knowledge share— the back-end environment discussions encouraged pushed for development in order to challenge the more sharing across teams partners to be included in team to consider non- preliminary meetings (even traditional solutions when they didn’t want to be) • Established UX’s presence in the Dev department—made efforts to engage through general technology inquiries and visiting for impromptu brainstorm sessions • Readily recognized the collective wisdom of project team members—welcomed open dialogue around the design concepts presented • Over-documentation in wireframe specs aided in development paying closer attention to the user experience details • Honest estimation of UX deliverables was met with appreciation by all / Page 14


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S T O R Y T H R E E // P H A R M A C L I E N T Kee p Calm and Co urse Co r rect PROJECT DESCRIPTION CHALLENGES Pharma client looking to innovate in the • Previous efforts around project was entirely mental health space to improve medical driven by development with user experience adherence in patients: and design considered an afterthought • Refocus patient-facing app usable resulting in a disjointed experience for people dealing with cognitive issues • Incrementally improve functionality of existing app in development for review and approval from the FDA • Build understanding, empathy, and a viable strategy that considers the needs of all stakeholders involved in the use of the app-based system • Partnering development vendor was also previously responsible for design effort and was removed­ from the project • Lack of clarity around FDA technical design filing regulations causing redundancies and inconsistencies in documentation, wasted time, effort, and general confusion resulting in difficult project meetings / Page 15


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S T O R Y T H R E E // P H A R M A C L I E N T What I Learned CONFLICT RESOLUTION PERSPECTIVE & EMPATHY ACCURACY • Practiced professional • Remained focused on “why we • Paid close attention to decorum when meetings are here” related to the effort— unique documentation devolved from reviewing improving the lives of patients demands—designed a f luid tasks to exchanging insults struggling to “achieve their design specification process version of normal” accounting for change • Mined channels of agreement with vendor partners to press project objectives forward • Included development engineer leads in off-site conceptual workshops removing them from their normal working environment • Recognized the frustration of vendor partners who management requests • Clarified design concepts were previously accustomed explicitly as possible— to working with in-house opened additional lines of design team following communication for developers a different design and to receive immediate feedback development process on inquiries / Page 16


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L I V E YO U R P R I N C I P L E S They Govern How You Think, Work, and Act / Page 17


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LIVE YOU R PRINCIPLE S WE ALL DRIVE No carts and horses Collective ownership / Page 18


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LIVE YOU R PRINCIPLE S YES, AND... Build on each other Build on what we do Over-deliver / Page 19


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LIVE YOU R PRINCIPLE S EXPLORE, DESIGN, REFLECT & REFINE Follow the process Live the mindset / Page 20


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LIVE YOU R PRINCIPLE S DELIVER E XC E L L E N C E Substance Simplicity Sophistication Kick-ass solutions / Page 21


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LIVE YOU R PRINCIPLE S GROWTH THROUGH POSITIVE INTERACTIONS Planting not fishing No assholes / Page 22


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ADVICE FOR THE REAL WORLD My Two Cents on Working Better with Team Members / Page 23


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REFRAME Shameless Plug but it Works! SHIFTING YOUR MINDSET Reframe your mindset and see problems not as annoying, insurmountable, irrefutable obstacles but as amazing, juicy, creative opportunities. Dig deeper into why you can’t do something. Usually, you can, you are just choosing not to. #REFRAME / Page 24


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J A C K ’ S K E Y TA K E AWAY S Because We All Love Lists YOUR EGO IS NOT YOUR AMIGO Walking into an engagement where you think you’re the smartest person in the room is a bad start. Be nice and professional— always. ESTABLISH YOUR PROCESS Being clear and up front about how you work then identifying how team members operate sets expectations that don’t become surprises later on down the line. DEVELOPMENT IS PART OF THE DESIGN Considering what is possible at the outset is the starting point for where to challenge convention. ADAPT Be ready and willing to adjust the course of a project, plan, or relationship when things aren’t working. ASKING “WHAT IF” Engaging in collaborative ideation with multidisciplinary team members can produce surprising results. LIVE THE DREAM Approaching any engagement as your next opportunity to do something amazing with a team of new people that you can share ideas from and leverage each other’s best attributes is the reason why we’re all here (or at least it should be) so make the most of it! / Page 25


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THANKS A MILLION / Page 26


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