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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 25. Supporting Implementation and Launch

Supporting Implementation and Launch

Although it must seem that a designer's work is surely done when the final specifications are in the hands of the engineers, there are a multitude of potholes in the road between handing over a spec and seeing your product released as designed. Questions and problems are inevitable even with complete stakeholder commitment and the best engineering collaboration in the world. A competitor launches a similar product and the project manager doesn't want to be seen falling too far behind. The venture capitalists are pushing for an earlier return on their investment. A huge company buys up the next year's supply of a vital part. Something the engineers thought they could do is simply harder than it looked. In any of these cases, someone is going to make a decision that affects the design, and it's best if that decision is in the hands of the design team.

Unfortunately, many designers limit—or are required to limit—their involvement once the spec is "done." Saying, "Here's the spec—call if you need me," doesn't look like help to many engineers; instead, it can look like the designers are running away while there are still real problems to be solved. Of course, most designers are eager to be involved, but find some engineers want to take the spec and run, or the budget holders don't see the need for more design time.

It's often difficult to ...

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