Communicating Insights and Design Principles for the UT System

This is part three in a series about communicating a project with the University of Texas system. Visit here for part one: introductory research or here for part two: the project brief.

Rather than tackling an entire design project from start to finish and focusing on all aspects, we are pairing down our efforts to have one goal: clear communication for client updates. There are so many nuances to learn within the design process, it’s helpful to only focus on how we are communicating our ideas. As design grows and starts ousting MBA-clad professionals as company-wide leaders, the power to communicate our concepts to a wide audience is increasingly important. 

This week’s assignment is a deck that succinctly communicates the Vision phase of our project. The goal is to use our research and activities from the Vision phase to develop clear, actionable insights and design pillars. 

Vision Activites.001

You can read my entire deck for the University of Texas system here. Now that this brief is complete, we’ll continue with the path we suggested to develop a Design Presentation that shows completed work. 

Key Takeaways

This approach was new to me. In the past, we’ve approached insight presentation as a story — delicately weaving the stories of our users into our narrative. By pairing down and focusing on the design pillars, I was able to think more about how our insights can– and should– lead to actionable design pillars.

This blog post from Matthew Strom was an excellent resource as I developed design principles for this project. The rule of “Good design principles aren’t truisms” was particularly insightful and forced me to hone in on actionable, potentially provocative design pillars that could guide a project. Rather than saying, “We should support students” (obviously), I opted for “Focus on incremental growth” which is clearer.