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Designing for the Digital Age: How to Create Human-Centered Products and Services by Kim Goodwin

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Chapter 19. Communicating the Framework and Design Language

Communicating the Framework and Design Language

As soon as you're confident in the design direction(s) you've developed, it's time to share them with the entire product team. There are two primary objectives for communication at this point. One is to see whether stakeholders identify any problems or opportunities you may have missed, so you (and they) know you're working on a viable direction. The other is to achieve consensus about one direction and build enthusiasm for it—this meeting is your best chance to be a cheerleader for the design. This is no easy task; many organizations get stuck in analysis paralysis or try idea after idea because they fail to make a real commitment to one direction.

Getting that commitment nearly always requires presenting the design at a single meeting of all stakeholders, so they can all see the design together and discuss its implications. At Cooper, we call this the "design vision" meeting, but you could call it a concept review or whatever other term serves your purpose. This kind of formal communication is critical because it facilitates shared understanding, expectations, and commitment among product team members as no other method can (see Chapter 13).

However, sharing early concepts is tricky. Stakeholders are anxious to see design, but they're not necessarily practiced at consuming design work in progress or assessing the appropriateness ...

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