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Articulating Design Decisions by Tom Greever

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Preface

The Big Meeting

ON A COLD SUNDAY IN JANUARY, I left my home in Illinois to catch a late flight to San Francisco for a client meeting the next morning. But this wasn’t just any meeting. About a dozen people from different areas of the company were all presenting designs to the CEO of a giant retail website. Vice presidents, directors, product owners, and UX designers were all involved in putting together a three-hour event that would lay the groundwork for an entire season’s worth of projects, as long as they could get this one executive’s approval.

The whole thing had begun weeks earlier, when I sat in a different meeting about the meeting. Whereas the rest of the product teams had been planning for a few weeks, our project had been overlooked in the previous review with the CEO. He asked why our project wasn’t represented, and so the rest of the team insisted that I be present at the next meeting. It was extremely inconvenient for me. I had been in San Francisco the week before and was now being asked to come back for a single day the following week. To make matters worse, I needed to create new designs to support a view for every product team that was being represented, so I had a lot of work to do to prepare. However, none of that mattered. It was obvious that everyone was willing to drop what they were doing to make this meeting successful.

After working with several product managers and attending yet another meeting about the meeting, I finally had a list of designs ...

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