Grounding design decisions in unimpeachable reasoning.

The what

In order for our work to be successful, it is important that our design decisions are understood and supported by all our stakeholders.

Lack of clear articulation leads to ambiguity, which is often the reason why great ideas die a slow, painful death. In order to ensure that our work sees the light of day, it is our job to communicate the value of our decisions beyond mere pixels and screens.

The why

By tightly articulating our decisions, we establish clear intent. We help build consensus and confidence in our stakeholders, which helps change the view that design is a black box.

To successfully articulate our design decisions to stakeholders, whether it is our clients, our peers, or sometimes even ourselves, we follow this three step process -

  1. Define the problem
  2. Present the solution
  3. Demonstrate advantages over alternatives

Step 1: Define the problem

We define our problems through a detailed problem checklist. To craft the checklist, we try and put together a holistic problem definition that can be broken down into the following components:

The Problem Checklist

The interplay between the user, their goals, and the contextual setting within which the problem lies, leads to the creation of a checklist of small problems, all of which add up to a holistic articulation of the overall problem. The solution must address all (or most) of the problems in this checklist for the problem to be solved.

<aside> 💡 Tips for success:


Step 2: Present the solution

After we’ve helped the audience gain a comprehensive understanding of the problem, we help them visualise how our solution addresses all its complex facets. We begin by going over the first problem in the checklist, and demonstrating how our design decisions address it. We then repeat this for every problem in the checklist till we’re done with the complete list. It’s as simple as that.