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Articulating Design Decisions by Tom Greever

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8

The Response: Common Messages

He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word.

JOSEPH CONRAD

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NOW THAT WE’RE KNEE deep in our response to stakeholders, let’s take a quick look at what we have so far. Our objective is to get agreement from them. Our strategy for accomplishing that is to communicate that our design solves a problem, makes it easy for users, and is better than the alternatives. We’ll communicate that using any of the tactics from Chapter 7. So now we need to identify the important messages that will help us to employ those tactics in our context.

Although every project is different and every client has unique needs, I’ve found that there are some ways of explaining design decisions that I seem to use over and over again. I often say the same kinds of things to defend my projects and I’ve compiled them here for reference. Some of them are similar or related to one another, but they should give you a good basis for the kinds of responses that are effective in design discussions.

These are the key messages that you need to communicate to deliver on your strategy and achieve the objective. With our strategy and tactics in mind, find the messages that apply most to your situation and modify them to accommodate your particular context. The goal for this chapter is to give you a list of common ways of describing design decisions ...

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