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Articulating Design Decisions: Communicate with Stakeholders, Keep Your Sanity, and Deliver the Best User Experience
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Articulating Design Decisions: Communicate with Stakeholders, Keep Your Sanity, and Deliver the Best User Experience

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  589 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Every designer has had to justify designs to non-designers, yet most lack the ability to explain themselves in a way that is compelling and fosters agreement. The ability to effectively articulate design decisions is critical to the success of a project, because the most articulate person often wins. This practical book provides principles, tactics, and actionable methods ...more
Paperback, 1st Edition, 259 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by O'Reilly Media
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Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: user-experience
I have really mixed feelings about this book, probably the most out of any UX book I've read. I do recommend it people in design interested in improving their communication skills. However, I think it could have been edited down quite a bit and still gotten the same messages across. I ended up skimming a lot. I also felt a few times like the techniques were manipulative, although I could see their merits. I've never read How to Win Friends and Influence People, but this book is what I imagine it ...more
Julia Kulgavchuk
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
I skimmed very quickly through chapters 1-4 (and later ch. 6), being disappointed by the triviality of content. Here I'd note that the content probably wouldn't be trivial for a person who is not professionally involved in design. The book is aimed at professional designers, though, and in my view, these chapters sound commonplace after just 1-2 years of experience in the field.

Then at ch. 5 it got interesting. That's when it gets more specific.

What I like about the book, firstly, is that it und
Jon Arnold
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Articulating Design Decisions is a thorough, articulate and fun read about the subject of design meetings. The thoughtful way that Tom has approached this topic proves that he's an expert at communicating ideas in a way that others can understand! He's an obvious choice for writing an O'Reilly standard on this topic and the

Design meetings can be a sloppy, opinionated, difficult event. Articulating Design Decisions helps designers remove bias, speak eloquently about their choices, and actually l
Jennifer Gieber
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for any designers out there who are sometimes baffled by how their conversations with stakeholders go off the rails.
I often find professional development books somewhat unhelpful because they give you the goal you should strive for but very little practical advice for implementing it. I found this book much better in that area. The number of things the author says you need to do for good communication can be overwhelming. But, when I stopped worrying about the big pi
Katie Rosebraugh
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
A must read for designers!

My favorite thing about this book was that it had a lot of real life examples. I also loved the way that the articulation process was broken down in detailed stages. Tom clearly has a natural gift for articulating design decisions that he has honed through years of experience. The chapter for non-designers was an added bonus.

I think this book could go a long way toward improving the sometimes rocky relations between designers and stakeholders.

Aug 11, 2020 rated it liked it
There are really good guidelines for communicating about design in this book but ultimately it could have been condensed into a series of 5-10 articles. Too often the book wanders down tangential roads. It is strongest when it focuses on design communication. Some chapters are stronger than others. Thankfully the book is very skim-able and makes great use of headings, subheadings, and lists.
Jeremi Dudu
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Required reading for all Ux folks

Easy to read. If teams read this not only would we work together better, but we’d be better people to each other.
Lisa Leighton
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book is written for UX designers but the ideas translate to any design. Would recommend.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've got a small handful of foundational books about design that I love to recommend to people getting started in the field, but what's been missing (until now) is a book that covers the massively important topic of communicating about design with others.

One of Tom Greever's main points in Articulating Design Decisions is that great design solves a problem, is easy for users, and is supported by everyone on the team (and that we often forget that last part). The skills Tom describes are aimed at
Nathan Crowther
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ux-favorites, ux
I started reading Articulating Design Decisions due to some serious problems we were having in our product design team. Despite our best efforts to move forward on decisions, make the most of meetings, and design the best possible product, our team was floundering in a sea of miscommunication.

I'm still working on implementing a lot from this book, but have already seen many of the benefits from Tom Greever's suggestions. The advice in this book is practical and doable.

This book is truly one of t
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is an outline of common sense strategies and an ok read for someone just starting out.

The roles are all too black and white (designer/client). The author did switch things up and addressed how clients need to work with designers but never addresses designers working with other designers and navigating creative conflicts. Better yet-- How to mediate and manage the best design outcome when rival forces refuse to let go of ego? How about $$ constraints? Impact on revenue?? Office politics thre
Peter Aronson
Mar 04, 2016 rated it liked it
This well may be a four or five star book for someone else. I knew going in this was a UX (User eXperience) book, but I thought it might be applicable to what I do -- developers have to communicate design decisions as well. However, this book takes a very specific view of what is design, and a rather specific set of business models. There were some good and interesting bits in there, but an awful lot just didn't apply to what I do. In other word, if you're not a UX person, this book may not be a ...more
Melinda M
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads-done
Articulating Design Decisions: Communicate with Stakeholders, Keep Your Sanity, and Deliver the Best User Experience by Tom Greever is well written, It explains how to communicate with non design people like stackholders. Delivering the best user experience also depends on being able to communicate and still make a profit for stockholders. I am not into design and found this to be an interesting read. It is well written.If you are not to design and marketing this is probably a good basic book to ...more
Matteo Gratton
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite book. Bought it 3 times already as it was too used 🙂

Tom talk in very simple, understandable and also enjoyable way about one of the most important skills a designer (but also everyone else) need to have: being able to communicate in a proper way the rationale behind your decisions.
When you communicate about design you must be able to give useful feedback, particularly being able to critique.
This book is all about being able to practice critique (to give it and to receive it):
PS Chua
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Your ability to properly set, adjust, and communicate expectations is more important than your ability to crank out killer designs on a daily basis."

Amazing book about communicating to stakeholders about design decisions, broken down well into the most intricate parts of communication itself. My favourite chapter is about communicating failures and mistakes that we will inevitably make.
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is one of the most important topics for any design professional who works with images and concepts. Tom Greever provides a thoughtful articulation and this book would be good for anyone working in an ad agency or startup.
Susan Csoke
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Whatever it is that you are designing, be it websites or products. This book will guide you to focus on principles, tactics and methods. It will guide you to properly presenting your designs!!!!! THANK YOU GOODREADS FIRST READS FOR THIS FREE BOOK !!!!!
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really useful, pragmatic and experienced advice about some of the least-discussed aspects of design: from running productive meetings to securing support and getting consensus. Very readable, though effort is required to get through the details, it's worth it.

Karen Mardahl
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read for my UX book club. Review to follow in a few days.
Su  Myint Myat Moe
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great designers are great communicators
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really good and useful. Designers - get this one.
Sabrina Anggraini
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I first started my design career, articulating design decisions to stakeholders was a challenge. As a fresh graduate, I was clueless and perhaps unable to understand to what extend should I think through about my designs. This book guided me to see starting from the fundamentals, from why designs needed to be articulated in the first place, which helped me understand how to approach my design process. What should be considered, what should be questioned, and what should be created.

After und
sarah semark
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm definitely recommending this to designers. If you're thoughtful and logic-driven, much of this will confirm what you already do, know, or at least suspect, but I could see it being enormously helpful for designers earlier on in their career.

Whilst most of the advice is empathetic and balanced, there were definitely parts that made me think "You know what would be _even better_? Not dealing with all the nonsense corporate politics and feelings that don't wind up contributing to a better prod
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book about communication when it comes to design. Totally agree with the author's sentiment that being a great designer absolutely includes being a great communicator. If you make the best designs, but can't persuade anyone to implement them you're wasting your time.

I found the buildup a bit slow and got a lot more value out of the chapters in the middle and later on. I think the book could have probably been quite a bit shorter, but then it's probably harder to sell as a book? Most of the
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great, practical book, especially if you are prepping for a big design presentation.
I really liked the advice about preparing for meetings by cultivating relationships – it's something so simple, but I had never really connected the two before.
The book is [not surprisingly] geared towards UX designers, but would also provide value to you if you have to present solutions in meetings to stakeholders / managers / executives (any time you have to explain why your solution is better than th
Arnold Petersen
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Apart from the noise, the book has some serious references to support the argument and solid advice on roles, team composition, managing expectations and stockholders however lacks consistency with regards to advice on communication skills, in some cases stating the obvious in other, just lengthy arguments with no positive outcome. Later chapters 3, 4 & 5 had good substance however fall victim to the same lengthy discussion on skill. Don't get me wrong this book has enough to make it a good read ...more
Someone referred this book to me, and I decided to read it in order to figure out how to deal with difficult stakeholders who don't always prioritize user experience. The good news is that it confirmed that my design instincts are good and valuable. And also good news, it also helped me see where I was falling short. I began using some of the advice right away, and my results were immediately better.

Now that I've finished the book, I look forward to even better results and satisfaction.
Michael Szeto
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design
Without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read on how to communicate design decisions!! :) :)

I’ve struggled a bit in the past with this skill but this book gave me so many awesome pointers that I have taken with me and applied in my current product design process I have to share the book with all I meet.

Overall a top read in my design career and one I will recommend to over 80% of my design friends.
Adam Amran
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I should’ve read this earlier in my career instead of learning the principles outlined in this book the hard way. Still, this is a very good guide to be a better communicator. There are many examples that illustrate what communicating using those principles and techniques looks like. I’d definitely recommend the book to every designer. Especially those who struggle with receiving feedback from clients/stakeholders or getting agreement from them.
Jon Daiello
This is truly a great book for designers of all experience levels to read. For blossoming designers, it will provide a solid framework and grouping for leveling up communication. For industry legends, it will recall to mind that experience that may not be front-of-mind.

Tom Greever has written an amazingly helpful book with clear principles from real-world experience that I'm grateful for. If you're a designer, I highly recommend you read this book!
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LibUX: Articulating Design Decisions is August's pick! 1 10 Aug 06, 2016 08:45PM  

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