Experience designers need to be good communicators, but it’s also important that we are efficient communicators.
If a sketch on a napkin communicates the same general idea as a beautifully designed sketch in Sketch, remember that software is built from that sketch, not with it. It’s also important to remember that your design is not precious. It will always change. Always. Seriously — always. And, frankly, it should.
When you work with different functional groups and discuss the design with them, you need to consider the feedback and iterate. When you collect research or perform usability testing with people or collect reactions and feedback from them, you need to consider that feedback and iterate. Is it easier and faster to grab another napkin and scratch out a new idea or five new ideas to discuss, or do you go back to your digital file and work on pixel perfect mockups that are ready be handed off to a front-end developer?
Which one is more efficient?
“But, Jack, we can’t show a client or stakeholder a bunch of napkins!”
You are absolutely right. You don’t show them artifacts, you show them software. Trust me, everyone is much more impressed with software than they are with designs — no matter what either of them look like.
Believe me, it hurt when I came to that realization too. But it’s okay. The faster you get to software, the faster you get to great, collaborative, successful, design. And this efficiency is the essence of iterative development.
So it’s important to not only think about minimum viable product, but to think about minimum viable design and how you can deliver it.