There must be a better way to do this.

Sometimes, it feels like there is simply no way to work through design concepts with stakeholders. There has to be a better way — and we keep thinking we’ve hit the right balance between showing literal “finished” designs prematurely and showing vague skeletal concepts that can so easily be misconstrued.

But sometimes it’s like you’ve shown how a chair works to someone a lot, and each time they leave the room acting like they got it, then when you bring it out again just to refer to what they’d seen in the past before you go on to discuss the desk, the cabinet and the other pieces to the solution, the conversation goes like this:

Them: “Ok, so you’re telling me that I’m gonna, what was the word… sit? … on that surface there… and that my head is going to dangle from the ceiling?”

Us: “No… um… just like we explained with the diagram last time, no dangling is involved.”

Them: “But there’s all that wasted space between your head and the ceiling… I really think something should go there.”

Us: *stunned countenances*

Them: “Can you be sure to usability test it with that option?”

Author: Andrew Hinton

I use information to architect better places for humans. More at