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Communicating the UX Vision - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124201972, 9780127999241

Communicating the UX Vision

1st Edition

13 Anti-Patterns That Block Good Ideas

Authors: Martina Schell James O'Brien
eBook ISBN: 9780127999241
Paperback ISBN: 9780124201972
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 19th February 2015
Page Count: 374
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This book identifies the 13 main challenges designers face when they talk about their work and provides communication strategies so that a better design, not a louder argument, is what makes it into the world.

It is a fact that we all want to put great design into the world, but no product ever makes it out of the building without rounds of reviews, feedback, and signoff. As an interaction or UX designer, you’ve felt the general trend toward faster development, more work, and less discussion. As we spend time crafting, we become attached to our own ideas and it gets all too easy to react to feedback emotionally or dismiss it, when we should be taking the time to decode it and explain or adapt the design.

Communicating the UX Vision helps you identify the skills and behavioral patterns to present your work in more persuasive ways, and respond more constructively to feedback from coworkers and stakeholders.

Key Features

  • Learn presentation tips that make stakeholders and other departments take your designs more seriously
  • Uncover valuable techniques to make feedback sessions more productive
  • Understand how to improve empathy with business stakeholders and learn to speak their language better
  • Discover how to better understand your behavior and identify your personal anti-patterns


Interaction Designers, User Experience Designers, Graphic Designers, Product Designers

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Speaking different languages
    • Abstract
    • Summary
    • The “Speaking Different Languages” anti-pattern
    • You know you’re in it when…
    • Patterns
    • If others inflict this anti-pattern on you
    • Terminology explained
  • Chapter 2: Having different KPIs
    • Abstract
    • How organizations measure success
    • Intrinsic motivation
    • When KPIs clash
    • Summary
    • The “Having Different KPIs” anti-pattern
    • You know you’re in it when …
    • Patterns
    • If others inflict this anti-pattern on you
  • Chapter 3: Not embracing everyone’s goals
    • Abstract
    • Onto the right path
    • The sore thumb paradox
    • Summary
    • The “Not Embracing Everyone’s Goals” anti-pattern
    • You know you’re in it when…
    • Patterns
    • If others inflict this anti-pattern on you
    • Terminology explained
  • Chapter 4: Presenting without contextualizing
    • Abstract
    • Common assets for providing context
    • Telling the story of UX
    • Getting good feedback
    • Summary
    • The “Presenting Without Contextualizing” anti-pattern
    • You know you’re in it when…
    • How to break the anti-pattern
    • Patterns
    • If others inflict this anti-pattern on you
    • Terminology explained
  • Chapter 5: Being in the room but not present
    • Abstract
    • What is your job?
    • New software development processes, new collaboration models
    • Collaborating in iterative environments
    • Focus in an open-plan world
    • Summary
    • The “Being in the room but not present” anti-pattern
    • You’ll know you’re in it when …
    • Patterns – how to be a better collaborator
    • What to do when someone is locking you out of their silo
    • Terminology explained
  • Chapter 6: Not having a consistent design language
    • Abstract
    • Say what?
    • Buzzword Bingo
    • A consistent design language
    • If you liked it, you should have put a label on it
    • A note on labeling files
    • What do you do?
    • A step too far
    • Summary
    • The “Not Having A Consistent Design Language” anti-pattern
    • You know you’re in it when…
    • Patterns
    • If others subject you to this anti-pattern
    • Terminology explained
  • Chapter 7: Throwing deliverables over the fence
    • Abstract
    • Tearing down the fence
    • Of fences and other obstacles
    • Code quality
    • Making the case
    • Find a shared rhythm
    • Collaborate across the project timeline
    • Deliver awesome products
    • Summary
    • The “Throwing Deliverables Over The Fence” anti-pattern
    • You know you’re in it when…
    • Patterns
    • What to do if others throw deliverables over the fence to you
    • Terminology explained
  • Chapter 8: Living in the deliverables
    • Abstract
    • Best-in-show deliverables
    • Conversations, not lectures
    • Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate
    • Make space for collaboration
    • Leaner, meaner... UX
    • Prototyping
    • What if you work in an agency?
    • Collect user feedback
    • Summary
    • The “Living in the Deliverables” anti-pattern
    • You know you’re in it when…
    • Patterns
    • If others inflict this anti-pattern on you
    • Terminology explained
  • Chapter 9: Assuming others don’t get design
    • Abstract
    • A note from the authors
    • Creating design and understanding design
    • Pretentious little jerks
    • Pitchslapped
    • We live in a designed world
    • “Creative” isn’t a noun
    • How can you make sharing easier?
    • Feeding back
    • Well-intended suggestions
    • Get the HiPPO on board
    • Some people view creativity as risk
    • The “Assuming Others Don’t Get Design” anti-pattern
    • You know you’re in it when…
    • Patterns – making sharing easier
    • Patterns – principles to strive for
    • If others inflict this anti-pattern on you
    • Terminology explained
  • Chapter 10: Insisting on perfection
    • Abstract
    • Delivering on your vision
    • Setting expectations
    • Introducing a functional grammar
    • Trade-offs
    • Sustainable pace
    • UX debt
    • Knowing when you’re done
    • Take inspiration from start-up entrepreneurs
    • Launch your idea in 3 hours, 24 hours, a weekend
    • Summary
    • The “Living in the Deliverables” anti-pattern
    • You know you’re in this anti-pattern when…
    • Patterns
    • If others inflict this anti-pattern on you
    • Terminology explained
  • Chapter 11: Responding to tone, not content
    • Abstract
    • Nonverbal, not unimportant
    • Tone varies with culture
    • Gaps in understanding
    • Who you are and who you’re perceived to be
    • The IKEA effect strikes again
    • Respondent fatigue
    • Summary
    • The “Responding to Tone, Not Content” anti-pattern
    • The patterns
    • You’ll know when you have encountered this anti-pattern, because …
    • What to do when someone is being confrontational or misunderstanding your tone
    • Tips
    • Terminology explained
  • Chapter 12: Defending too hard
    • Abstract
    • Spotting this type of client
    • The hidden cost
    • Business theater
    • Summary
    • The “Defending Too Hard” anti-pattern
    • You’ll know you’re in it when …
    • The patterns
    • What to do when someone keeps repeating the same objection
    • Tips
    • Terminology explained
  • Chapter 13: Not defending hard enough
    • Abstract
    • Everyone’s a critic
    • What is the right decision?
    • Using the Five Whys to understand business value
    • Shortcut: Always defend user research
    • Summary
    • The “Not Defending Hard Enough” anti-pattern
    • You know you’re in it when …
    • The patterns
    • How to remedy a wrongly given-up point
    • Tips
    • Terminology explained
  • Chapter 14: Identifying and fixing your own anti-patterns
    • Abstract
    • The tip-off
    • The cool-down
    • Get an outside perspective
    • Find the common factor
    • Forgive yourself
    • Identify some patterns
    • Make it a habit
    • Keep going
  • Chapter 15: Relaxation techniques at work
    • Abstract
    • In the moment
    • Lifestyle
    • About the author
  • Chapter 16: Group design techniques
    • Abstract
    • How many people to invite?
    • How much time to budget?
    • How to facilitate a group
    • In the room
    • Try out new formats
    • How to prioritize
    • Dot voting
    • Prioritization matrix
  • Conclusion
  • Glossary
  • Index


No. of pages:
© Morgan Kaufmann 2015
19th February 2015
Morgan Kaufmann
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:

About the Authors

Martina Schell

Martina Schell

Martina is a User Experience consultant with over 15 years of experience in interactivity for web, desktop, TV and mobile devices. She specializes in user-centered design, experience strategy and qualitative design research to help Fortune 100 and start-up companies across a wide range of sectors develop new products and services, or measurably improve existing ones. Martina holds a MA in Applied Imagination from Central Saint Martins, where she conducted research into methods for multi-disciplinary collaboration to support creativity and innovation. She co-founded UX Tuesday and mentors at Method Design Lab and Seedcamp to bring UX expertise to startups. She serves on the UK UXPA committee, and regularly organizes and speaks at events.

Affiliations and Expertise

User Experience consultant

James O'Brien

James O'Brien

James is a UX Designer and experienced Agile practitioner. He loves to create exceptional products and can often be found complaining on Twitter about the frustrations that get in the way. In the last ten years he’s worked with agencies, enterprise codeshops and independent start-ups, always preaching the importance of designing for the user. James lives on a rusty Dutch barge moored by Tower Bridge. He doesn’t do anything in his spare time because he lives on a rusty Dutch barge, so he never gets any spare time. When he’s lucky, he sleeps. He usually smells faintly of diesel.

Affiliations and Expertise

UX Designer and experienced Agile practitioner


"This is a worthwhile reference book for user interface designers to have on their bookshelves. It could also be used to foster communication and feedback between team members...chapters are short and to the point, and the book is easy to read." --Computing Reviews

"Great design doesn’t just happen on the screen; it also demands well-designed communication. Let this invaluable book be your guide." --Cennydd Bowles, Design Manager at Twitter

"I’ve made all these mistakes but you shouldn’t have to. These are real practical remedies to everyday problems in the design industry and you should put them to work right away." --Stuart Eccles, co-founder of Made by Many

“A valuable and well organised communicative toolbox for design professionals and students aiming to master the tightrope of fast paced and multi-disciplinary design projects!" --Martin Feuz, Head of BA in Interaction Design. Zurich University of the Arts  

"An essential handbook to help you work better with clients, stakeholders and your team." --Johanna Kollmann, independent product strategist at Us And The Machines Ltd

"Creating a shared understanding is one of the most critical skills a UX practitioner must master. Martina and James help you understand the magic that is the collision between business and design. This well-organized, down to Earth, useful guide is the book you have been waiting for." --Tomer Sharon, UX Researcher at Google and author of Lean User Research for Product Development and It's Our Research

Ratings and Reviews