Successful designers must influence productdirection and strategy

23 Feb 2009 - 3:15pm
5 years ago
4 replies
276 reads
Sara Summers
2006

"If designers want to affect those decisions they must learn to look at the
world from strategy executives' perspectives just as they look at the world
from their users' perspectives when designing products for them."

Your dead on with this concept, however I would love to hear more about how
designers can gain executive perspectives.
Often exec's are not openly discussing their priorities, projections or
their vision to designers.
What are some action items that designers can take to solve this problem?

Sara Summers
User Experience Evangelist
Platform and Developer Tools
ssummers at microsoft.com
http://twitter.com/ssummers
http://uxarray.com

> Full article:
> http://www.dexodesign.com/2009/02/23/successful-designers-must-influence-product-direction-and-strategy/
>
>
> Russell Wilson
> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson

Comments

23 Feb 2009 - 4:20pm
Sarah Kampman
2008

Influence is ideal, if the designer has mastery of the subject area and
market. Failing that -- or in addition to it -- insight into the reasons
behind the strategy is almost as important.

If I'm simply told to design Feature X, I'll do the best I can with it,
given what I know about its context and users. But if I know that the
real goal is to use Feature X to gain traction in a given industry, or
to appeal to a specific user type, I can help the execs meet this goal
more effectively and I may be able to propose high-value alternatives
that I wouldn't have known were relevant without the insight.

It's not just true of designers, of course. Comparing the two companies
I've been at most recently (who fall on opposite ends of the spectrum),
an organization that communicates not just orders but *information* has
happier, more creative workers who can solve problems more effectively.

-Sarah

-----Original Message-----
Full article:
http://www.dexodesign.com/2009/02/23/successful-designers-must-influence
-product-direction-and-strategy/

23 Feb 2009 - 4:38pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Feb 23, 2009, at 12:15 PM, Sara Summers wrote:

> "If designers want to affect those decisions they must learn to look
> at the world from strategy executives' perspectives just as they
> look at the world from their users' perspectives when designing
> products for them."
>
> Your dead on with this concept, however I would love to hear more
> about how designers can gain executive perspectives.

In a word: Money.

Learn to look at your company's business in pure financial terms and
it will go a long way towards your understanding of how to work with
your executives. If you open your companies yearly financial reports
and don't "get" them, well, there's your first place to start to
digging in.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Chief Design Officer, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

23 Feb 2009 - 4:53pm
Steve Baty
2009

Andrei,

Right on. More specifically: If you can't describe how money gets into the
'Cash from Operations' - revenue - then you're working with a severe
handicap as far as your understanding of the business is concerned.

For Russell:
But I'm curious: at a time when even the Harvard Business Review is calling
for a fundamental re-evaluation of the role of management and management
practice, why for God's sake should you be satisfied to influence other
people? Now is *the best opportunity ever* for design to take a more direct
role in the setting of corporate strategy. The business world is reeling in
the face of turbulence and uncertainty and here we are talking about
'influencing' the people who led you there? Why not kick the chair out from
under them and show them the door?

Regards
Steve

2009/2/24 Andrei Herasimchuk <aherasimchuk at involutionstudios.com>

>
> On Feb 23, 2009, at 12:15 PM, Sara Summers wrote:
>
> "If designers want to affect those decisions they must learn to look at
>> the world from strategy executives' perspectives just as they look at the
>> world from their users' perspectives when designing products for them."
>>
>> Your dead on with this concept, however I would love to hear more about
>> how designers can gain executive perspectives.
>>
>
> In a word: Money.
>
> Learn to look at your company's business in pure financial terms and it
> will go a long way towards your understanding of how to work with your
> executives. If you open your companies yearly financial reports and don't
> "get" them, well, there's your first place to start to digging in.
>
> --
> Andrei Herasimchuk
>
> Chief Design Officer, Involution Studios
> innovating the digital world
>
> e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
> c. +1 408 306 6422
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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--
Steve 'Doc' Baty | Principal | Meld Consulting | P: +61 417 061 292 | E:
stevebaty at meld.com.au | Twitter: docbaty | LinkedIn:
www.linkedin.com/in/stevebaty

Blog: http://meld.com.au/blog
Contributor: Johnny Holland - johnnyholland.org
Contributor: UXMatters - www.uxmatters.com
UX Australia: 25-27 August, http://uxaustralia.com.au
UX Book Club: http://uxbookclub.org/ - Read, discuss, connect.

23 Feb 2009 - 5:09pm
Steve Baty
2009

Andrei,

Right on. More specifically: take a look at the company's cashflow
statements. If you can't describe how money gets into the 'Cash from
Operations' - revenue - then you're working with a severe handicap as far as
your understanding of the busi

2009/2/24 Andrei Herasimchuk <aherasimchuk at involutionstudios.com>

>
> On Feb 23, 2009, at 12:15 PM, Sara Summers wrote:
>
> "If designers want to affect those decisions they must learn to look at
>> the world from strategy executives' perspectives just as they look at the
>> world from their users' perspectives when designing products for them."
>>
>> Your dead on with this concept, however I would love to hear more about
>> how designers can gain executive perspectives.
>>
>
> In a word: Money.
>
> Learn to look at your company's business in pure financial terms and it
> will go a long way towards your understanding of how to work with your
> executives. If you open your companies yearly financial reports and don't
> "get" them, well, there's your first place to start to digging in.
>
> --
> Andrei Herasimchuk
>
> Chief Design Officer, Involution Studios
> innovating the digital world
>
> e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
> c. +1 408 306 6422
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Steve 'Doc' Baty | Principal | Meld Consulting | P: +61 417 061 292 | E:
stevebaty at meld.com.au | Twitter: docbaty | LinkedIn:
www.linkedin.com/in/stevebaty

Blog: http://meld.com.au/blog
Contributor: Johnny Holland - johnnyholland.org
Contributor: UXMatters - www.uxmatters.com
UX Australia: 25-27 August, http://uxaustralia.com.au
UX Book Club: http://uxbookclub.org/ - Read, discuss, connect.

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