Jared Spool is one of the most influential design research professionals working in the field of user experience design today. I first saw Jared speak about his work at the SXSW Interactive conference five years ago, and I haven’t thought about my work the same way since. I’ve seen him speak at dozens of events and I find myself rapt with attention every single time. His brilliant insights have transformed the way many think about designing digital experiences and his ideas always seem to occupy a jovial environment that balances sound research with a sharp wit. He is a one of a kind mix of entertainer, academic, and pragmatist. I’m incredibly grateful for his contributions to the field and consider myself very fortunate to enjoy his company from time to time.
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In the last six years I’ve done a fair amount of business travel. On occasion, there have been a few memorable trips due to the flight (Nashville, I don’t know how you deal with that kind of turbulence), the destination, the clients (like good old “Poet’s Eye”), or just the circumstances of our meeting. The last two years have been especially busy and I’ve built up a good catalog of stories from experiences on the road from Lansing to Birmingham, Bend to Boston, and beyond.
Every successful project needs an Awesome Blossom moment: when your relationship with a client enables the project to transcend deadlines and goals to more acutely capture the spirit of creating something great.
It all starts with finding the humanity in the project and sharing a sense of excitement with your client team members. As they have chosen your company to help build their web experience, the client has placed a great amount of trust in you. Your job, over the length of the engagement, is to solidify: a sound strategy based on the goals of the project; a transparent, trusted, and respectful working relationship with your client contacts; an agile, yet progressive, project process; and an open line of communication that can extend beyond the project.