Process is what shapes the products we build – Dustin Senos

Dustin gave the opening talk for the PushConference 2015. He focused on process and on 4 points that will NOT set you up for success:

1. Not establishing success criteria

2. Designing for the wrong person

3. Not exhausting your options

4. Being too clever

One revelatory moment came when Dustin plotted 4 design disciplines in one line:

He started by putting Visual Design and Research at opposite ends explaining that Research will be looking at the people that are/will be using whatever is being designed and will focus on understanding what will bring value to our users and why.

Visual Design will come at a later stage because ‘the thing’ needs to be identified before we can say what it will look like and what kind of values will be communicated through its aesthetic components.

He then plotted User Experience close to Visual Design.

All the UI is not UX discussions came to mind and initially I felt indignant. But  then Dustin very cooly elaborated that User Experience was about defining HOW something would work and how it would interact with people.

And then finally Product Design was plotted next to Research and together they answer the WHY and the WHAT – why are we building this (what is the problem we are trying to solve) and what will it do?

This made me think of the different roles I have been having as a designer and made me realize that I actually find the What and Why bits a lot more interesting, even though I started in the visual end.

I thought I was a UX / Interaction designer but in fact I am interested in the why and the what – I just never thought of Product Design.

I believe that the super power of [add prefix] Designer is being influential. There is no point in making something work beautifully if the service that it’s offering is miles away from real users needs. If it has no value, there’s no point. The impact a designer can have is on driving this conversation.

Nice one Dustin.



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