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Midwest UX 2014 Cheat Sheet

October 25, 2014

This is a summary or cheat sheet of the tips and tactics I gave at Midwest UX 2014 in Indianapolis for my talk, “Articulating Design Decisions” on October 25, 2014 – I hope you’ll be better prepared to talk about your designs decisions and convince people that you’re right!

Midwest UX 2014Always Ask:

  1. What problem does this solve?
  2. How does this affect the user?
  3. Why is it better than the alternative?


  • Let them talk
  • Hear what they’re not saying
  • Uncover the (real) problem
  • Move from preference to function
  • Ask for examples


  • Appeal to a nobler motive
  • Show a comparison
  • Propose an alternative
  • Give them a choice
  • Postpone the decision

Common Explanations:

  • Facilitates a primary use case
  • Follows a common design pattern
  • Meets a particular goal
  • Data supports it
  • Complies with a standard
  • Limited by technology
  • Draws the user’s attention
  • Creates a flow for the user
  • Establishes branding