A High-Stakes Game Of Telephone

Communication is more than just verbal cues

The design process is like a game of telephone. We need to make sure we pass on a very clear message to the next person, so that down the line we have a consistent outcome.

So what happens when the message gets skewed?

It really depends on where the break happens. If it starts with the client, then the whole project will be sent in a direction that doesn’t execute the initial goal. That’s why we have client interviews and determine scopes. If the communication break happens within the team, then we will have conflict and wasted time and energy.

This week I learned that the way we communicate our files and assets can be just as important as communicating our goals verbally.

The UI team got our mid-fi prototypes from the UX team. They looked amazing! As soon as I started to work on skinning it, I noticed a little blip. Symbols weren’t used for assets that appeared multiple times.

Because of the size of the project, this really was not a big deal. But it made me think about how important the role of organization is in all our roles. In a larger project, this could really delay things and cost a lot of money and manpower.

Anything you pass along needs to be clean, organized, and clear. Files, layers, and assets need to be organized in a way that allows someone who never touched this project before to easily read your labels and know exactly where to go.

How annoying is it to receive a folder of files with nonsense names, and you have to open every single one to figure out what they are for? Or working on a a Photoshop file and having to ‘hide’ every layer until you find the one you are looking for.

I am definitely making a personal note to stand back and look at all my work from an outside perspective to make sure it is clear and organized. In only a few weeks my focus will be strictly UX-related, so it’s important that I keep all these little things in mind to ensure that things go smoothly from my end.

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