A UX Survival Guide for the 2020’s — Robert Stulle

Notes from UX Salon 2017 — by Summurai

Robert Stulle at UX Salon 2017 — Photo credit jujufoto.com

As designers we all enjoy our professional lives in the happy, creative bubble that is a well running design and development project…What about the friction between our project and the rest of the world? Why can’t things just run smoothly? Why is it that so often we feel like we are surrounded by idiots?

In this presentation Robert shares his idea of what the future holds for UX professionals and the challenges that lie ahead. He discusses how agile development, an open culture and a new organizational model help him and his colleagues stay happy and productive.

Roberts Design firm believes that hierarchy should be left in the past. His firm is using an Agile method of design. In the center of implementing Agile approaches, Robert offers to have all of the relevant people in the room and not to plan everything in advance. In his company, they have built clusters of multidisciplinary teams working in a self-organized way with mechanisms of communicating with each other.
 With his approach, leadership is seen as a support role, and not as the authority where decisions are made. Leaders should be enabling the team to evolve and grow. Leadership should not be a controlling role as control is toxic.

Wireframing is defined as waste of time. To speed up the design process, the teams skip wireframing and work from hand sketches, directly to final design or development. The teams strive to have a working product within 5 days, and test it with real users.

Robert looks at the classic approach of project management, which is based on a Scope, Cost and Time triangle. In classic models the Scope is on top and we negotiate cost and time. In Robert’s model, the triangle is upside-down, where Scope is at the will be on the bottom, where and Cost and Time are on top. and Once Cost and Time they are defined, scope is derived from them.

In order to deal with the need to estimate project pricing, Robert offers a chart based on Familiarity and tech-complexity. The less familiar and more complex the product is — the higher the price will go.

As a general way of working, Robert claims that it’s important to do what you’re good at, what makes you happy and what is good for business. This creates a place for people to have autonomy and purpose. Most importantly to set realistic expectations, openness and transparency.

Video from UX Salon 2017

With two decades of professional experience as a designer and consultant. Robert Stulle is the head of Digital Products and Services at Edenspiekermannin Berlin.

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