The skills highlighted below provide a snapshot of who I am as a designer. These are skills that I have used in projects and developed over time. Rather than focusing on specific projects, I chose to put the spotlight on these transferable skills. Transferability is important to me as a designer because I recognize the utility of these skills across many different scenarios. This experience has given me the insight to adapt to the situation based on the needs of my team, stakeholders and target audiences.
Experience in Design Facilitation is experience in pulling user insights directly from the source. Design Facilitation is a lucrative skill not only to understand the users and their needs and desires but also to guide them through steps to help them articulate latent needs.
I have experience in planning workshops, designing methods, as well as facilitating events to lead participants through design methods chosen specifically for the group and the purpose of the engagement.
An innovative design solution relies on solid user research. With so many research methods available, it is important to not only choose the appropriate methods for the purpose and goals of the project but sometimes it is incumbent on the designer to adapt existing methods. Methods are most effective when they are chosen specifically for the project needs rather than chosen out of habit or convenience.
For example, user surveys are useful to gather feedback after an event, but a simple survey cannot take the place of a facilitated workshop that brings together various stakeholders with the purpose of crafting user personas.
The ability to design an effective and dynamic methodology requires experience with various methods as well as experience in piloting new methods. This knowledge combined with clarity of project goals creates a strong foundation needed for not only effective, but also innovative project management.
A well designed document is imperative when it comes to communication. Whether that is sharing data to secure funding from stakeholders or creating a final design document to show the process and validate resources. Visual communication is a skill that glows in any sort of light. It is used throughout the design process.
A well designed document will always be more persuasive. Visual Communication principles such as information architecture, visual hierarchy, and composition are the building blocks of a clean, readable, and interesting document that serves its intended purpose, whatever that may be.
It may seem like a trick… but think of it more as a “nudge.” When you need to communicate information in order to move forward on a project, a clean, well-designed document or presentation will effectively persuade any audience, as long as that audience is kept in mind from the start. It seems simple, but good design will always set your information apart.
Storyboarding is a specific method but I chose to include it as a skill. There are lots of free storyboard generators available but the ability to create more tailored storyboards can make all the difference when it comes to communication.
Storyboarding comes from the film industry but has grown in popularity and utility in the design world, specifically User Experience and Service Design. Storyboards are a tool for communication whether that is to show value of a new product or communicate user needs through personas in action.
Once again utilizing principles of visual communication, a unique storyboard will be more persuasive and dynamic compared to a simple and generic storyboard. The ability to generate a clean and persuasive storyboard is an invaluable tool throughout the design process.
The User Experience world of design is so often focused on the end product and the coding that goes into product design. The ability to create rapid prototypes in order to diverge on ideas is just as important as the final product. In fact, it is required in order to get to the final stages of the design.
Creating wireframes is a valuable tool when working on a design team. The ability to work fast allows for more divergence in idea generation, which ultimately supports innovation.