UX Book Club June 8: Communicating Design by Dan Brown
Happy summer Twin Cities UX’ers –(even though it feels like October outside!)
We met June 8, 6-8pm at Wilde Roast to discuss the book Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning by Dan Brown.
The conversation was facilitated by Stephanie. She manages a User Experience team at U.S. Bank. She told us a story about how she found the book and how it helped her team. It was so inspirational for them they started a book club just to discuss the concepts in the book. For the team Stephanie manages, it gave them a way to catalog what they were doing and present it back to the other people in their organization. It allowed them to have the language to work more effectively with (internal/external) clients and with each other.
There were a few people in the group that were working in roles where they didn’t ‘officially’ have titles that involved the words ‘user experience’ but they recognized that is what they were doing. The book gave them a language to speak with people inside of the field of User Experience and co-workers who had no idea such a thing existed. In addition to providing a simple and common language, it filled in gaps for individuals who had not been through large web design projects or had the luxury of multi-disciplinary teams. They were working on a different scale, but still doing the same tasks.
“It (the book) brings a community and a language to the team.” The deliverables are the communication tools that allow us to get work realized. It is important that they are effective and easy to use, after all we are in the UX business.
Some conversations that are still happening even after all these years:
- put the print design on the web
- the visual design is the only attribute that matters-as long as it looks good
- usability is still absent from the process of many organizations
The main thing that drew people to the book was that they were seeking more knowledge. This book held a complete view for people who were not practicing with larger teams. Based on the Twin Cities crowd, it has a strong appeal for people that identify they are doing user experience work, but just don’t have those words in their title. YET
We had several librarians at the table tonight. It made me feel like there is a resurgence of new people coming into the field. With the economy adjusting and honestly a need for more people doing this work, I was excited to see it. Smart managers will see the potential in this future User Experience workforce. People that really care about making better experiences are people that can learn and that’s what the work force needs right now.
Our event was sponsored by Harvest, simple online time tracking, time sheet and reporting software. Harvest created a special MNteractive Meetup coupon code for anyone who’d like to upgrade to a paying Harvest account: MNTERACTIVE09 will get the recipient $10 off their first month.
Thanks to Harvest for sponsoring the event. Christine A. was the winner of the $50 gift card from Wilde Roast.
Your Twin Cities UX Meetup organizers:
Garrick Van Buren
P.S. Please note we are taking a summer break.
The next UX Book Club will be September 14th, 2009. The second Monday of the month.
However, we are going to try and pull together a resume workshop with managers and UX people who would like to talk with others about how to build a better UX resume.