The Back Up Question: Defining a Project’s ‘Good Enough’

Jared Spool

August 2nd, 2017

In this week’s article, I discuss how to talk with stakeholders about their users and the challenges those users face to get an answer to the Back Up Question.

Here’s an excerpt from the  article:

The conventional reaction is to get them to specify their request in substantially more detail. What design would you like to see? Asking for more details puts these non-designers in the role of designing. That’s a role we should be involved in, if not taking over completely.

Instead, we need to know more about the problem. Why do they need this particular solution? There could be a better way to solve it. There could be a solution our design experience brings to the table, one that they wouldn’t know to propose.

How do we start to understand the problem their proposed solution wants to address? After dealing with this very problem for decades, I’ve come up with a simple question. I call it the Back Up Question.

Read the article: The Back Up Question: Defining a Project’s ‘Good Enough’

Uncovering a deep understanding of the benefits of our designs is just the first step of a smart design process. We need an efficient process to take our team from a shared understanding to a successful delivery.

You don’t want to miss Dan Mall’s fantastic UI22 workshop, Design Workflow for a Multi-Device World on November 15 in Boston, MA. Dan will share his toolbox of design activities, and guide your team to craft an effective workflow that encourages collaboration and delivery. Read his workshop description for more details.

Do you have your own method for getting stakeholders and clients to take a step and talk about how the desired outcome of a project will benefit their users? Tell us about it below.


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