March 2014 Meetup Recap

Last week marked meetup number three for PDX Digital PM! We had a great turnout of approximately 60 attendees, and Instrument provided a great venue.

The breakout group format was similar to February, and thanks to Craig Higdon, Casey Castro, and Lori Dunkin for joining me as group facilitators. Thanks to Abby Fujioka and Amie Pascal at Instrument for helping arrange the space and providing snacks and drinks for the event!

Recapping The Event

This month we talked UX, IA, wireframing, and all things design. We kicked the evening off with a surprisingly loud emergency rescue whistle, followed by Amie giving a brief introduction to Instrument and showing off a new reel they just completed.

From there, we split into four smaller breakout groups. All of the groups approached the same design topic, but from different angles; the first covered people and teams, the second discussed process, the third focused on tools, and the fourth touched on client and expectation management. Attendees got to pick two of the groups to be part of during the course of the night, and at the end we all got back together to have the group facilitators recap findings, great quotes, and top takeaways!

Olivia Halfen from Planet Argon wrote a recap post that’s worth checking out, and read on for a few of our highlights!

On People & Teams

Lori’s group talked about a number of ways teams are structured, including:

  • Whether UX and design are a single role or two separate roles at organizations
  • How to communicate design direction within a team
  • What the producer/PM role’s part in the design process looks like

On Process

Craig’s group talked about a variety of topics related to design process:

  • Steps to take to explain what a wireframe is in order to use them effectively
  • Defining functionality and acceptance criteria for designs as early as possible
  • When content strategy should come into play in regards to design

On Tools

Casey’s group talked about a variety of tools used for design process and project management in general:

  • Merlin got a nod for general project management usefulness
  • InVision was raved about as a prototyping and collaboration tool
  • Balsamiq is a favorite that avoids client confusion by intentionally looking hand-drawn to focus more on UX and less on design

On Client Management

My group had some great discussions around client management, including:

  • Strategies around expectation-setting on client feedback turnaround
  • Ways to communicate the amount of time and attention required from clients to have a successful project
  • How approvals are handled with design, and how to manage scope creep by focusing on the “why” of requested changes versus the “what”

On to The Next One

The next meetup will be April 8th starting at 5:30PM. This time Swift will be hosting and the topic will be all things documentation when it comes to the life cycle!

But first, if you’re interested in the upcoming Digital PM Workshop with Brett Harned on March 29th, it’s not to late to register! Be sure to use code “PDXPM” to save 10% when you register.

I hope to see you at one or both events!

P.S. If you have ideas for future meetup topics, please feel free to share. We’ve been collecting them at the events so far and have quite a decent number in the backlog, but it wouldn’t hurt to have inspiration for topics to cover the next five years of meetups!

Posted in Meetups.

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