Designers are from Mars, Engineers are from Venus

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Meetup space filling up @Motivate_Design, NYC

“Designers and engineers always get along,” said no one…ever. That is why the meetup I went to last night at Motivate Design was packed with people, curious to gain a better understanding of how to communicate effectively with team members of all disciplines, and learn best practices to help facilitate more project collaboration.

Jack Cole, Director of Design at Motivate Design, was the presenter for the meetup which was coordinated by NYC Code and Design Academy and the UX Labs meetup group. Jack is a 15-year veteran of working as a UX/Design professional who has experienced the thrilling highs and the crushing lows of corporate life.

What’s the issue? Many from the two disciplines don’t see eye-to-eye, which causes friction and unnecessary roadblocks that prevent success. 

He started off by taking us through a few particularly challenging projects and what he learned from each of them from a designer’s perspective.

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Material Design Panel by Google

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Left to right: Amber Bravo, Mark Shuster, Eli Weiss, Kevin Grant

Google Design held a panel last night at General Assembly to talk about Material Design, their newest design framework for Android. The panelists included Mark Shuster, Senior Product Designer at Buzzfeed, Eli Weiss, Chief Mobile Strategist at B&H, Kevin Grant, Android Engineer at Tumblr, and Amber Bravo (the host) who is an Editor at Google.

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Top tips and quotes from the panel

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Who are you designing for?

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Tammy Sachs, founder & CEO of Sachs Insights, welcomes us

Last night I attended an event held by Sachs Insights, a marketing consultancy group that heavily utilizes user research techniques, which was part of the events for NYCxDesign week. The key focus of the presentation was a question that many of us UXers ask ourselves: Who are you designing for?

As I arrived, I was greeted by a handful of people who work at Sachs Insights, grabbed some yummy snacks, and went to get a good seat for the presentation.

Smart Design by Julie Riederer

One key aspect to smart design is to realize that perception does not equal reality. Julie Riederer, one of the Research Directors at Sachs Insights, lays the groundwork on how to make your design a success:

  1. Make sure your target audience is real
  2. Speak to the right audience, not just your “aspirational” audience
  3. One size approach does not fit all
  4. Speak your audience’s language: capture their words and their expectations
  5. Design to make key tasks prominent and easily accessible
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Julie Riederer during her presentation (sorry for the crappy shot)

Smart design can further be narrowed down into two categories: those for B2C companies (Business-to-Consumer) and those for B2B companies (Business-to-Business). My interests lie more in the B2C space, so I’ll give you guys an overview of the B2C talk by Leslie Brown, another Research Director at Sachs Insights.

“Only design a kitchen sink if you are building a kitchen!”

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