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Fast and Effective UX Design: Learn the Process

Lesson 3 of 17

Brand Attributes, Customer Profiles, & Business Goals

Jose Caballer

Fast and Effective UX Design: Learn the Process

Jose Caballer

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Lesson Info

3. Brand Attributes, Customer Profiles, & Business Goals
How do defining brand attributes help the UX process? How do you create effective customer profiles? Jose outlines how to streamline the process for your client as a user experience designer. Often establishing strategic alignment alone can take weeks - Jose demonstrates how to align brand, user, and goals with efficiency.

Lesson Info

Brand Attributes, Customer Profiles, & Business Goals

The role of life facilitation back to the squirrel and to the, um comes from the fact that one thing that I learned was that if you don't get consensus early on, it's, just a lot of work, I get some nods here from user experience designers who do you know the documentation revising it coming back? Do you think I could sit still and do the documentation for days at end? Hell, no. So when I ran my agency, what I wanted to do was I wanted to get all that done fast, more so razor fish, we charge half a million dollars for month retainer, so if it takes six weeks or eight weeks to do this it's costing a million dollars just to define the product if your startup that's ridiculous. So I switched completely from doing the work for big plants. I said, no agencies, no big clients don't like it ain't cool a because tino, they didn't actually understand the process, and I'm talking about working for some of the biggest agencies in the world, and I'm not calling them out. Um, I would, but it's bad ...

form. Um, this is a long time ago too, so they probably changed. Probably not um the idea of having to educate them was too much work so I said, why don't I work with startups? I'm working directly with the ceo what do you think of ceo of the company is going to tell me about doing the strategy and you ex stuff portion of it they're gonna be you're out of your mind to charge me that much money so we needed to figure out how to take something that took four to six weeks or more and make it in ten hours and do it in ten hours we didn't charge him for it strategy you get it included what we're charging them for what they wanted the design, other product, the identity, the brand, the things that I could sell them on that we did well because they could believe it they saw her portfolio there pretty good uh would they believe that we're great strategist or questionable unless you give it to them for free and they don't care way built in the cost into the time but here's the reason why it's facilitating entrepreneurs, executives anybody it's kind of like this everybody's very different you had the monkey with cymbals down here you got the ceo over here it's extremely different and this is you and you got to be able to get everybody on the same page more so tino or anybody who is in a office and an environment that's a larger corporation that's run with twentieth century management principles which is fairly high article this is from a survey I'm not making this up we surveyed a group of people that we were actually doing some training for what are the three hardest? What are the hardest things that came out of it was getting I'm in managing our partners and vendors I experienced this when I was doing this briefing and managing teams meaning like the team itself knowing what they need to do it's how people so people issues none of this is anything to do with the software none of this has anything to do with anything but people better yet here's a quote from a not an episode everything for me is tv or video print old school eric for you in a print magazine uh said this whole collaboration will work together as a team I find it effing difficult that was a creative director of the new york agency in two thousand ten yeah he used to be the top he's to be don draper he was like he walks in and he's like you're my genius idea and now it has nothing to do with him it has everything to do with technology has to do with, you know users what he's confused at that point so business today requires business, creative tech and marketing people to work together each with a different interest in in the project and here's the funny thing you know the business guy looks like a ruin a little bit except I don't know why he has a button shirt r a y you know how much is this costing while my getting this back you know, etcetera the revenue aspect the prophet aspect designers like looks very nice I like the colors is cool yeah I feel it it's awesome the developers like I got two kids I got to go home it's it work or doesn't work you know sequel mongo I don't care what database you know you're using but but he does because he doesn't want to be doing the wrong thing to think about it they're binary and I'm not making a reference to coat it works or it doesn't they're not talking about the emotional nuances of whether they should use you know orange or not they're talking about does this work and is it right righteousness you know how righteous developers and you know what technical people are no offense to those of you who are watching who might be some of my best friends are developers now that might be alive um marketing folks so whether whether its usp or channels or whatever esoteric marketing terms all they care about is getting the word out you know and and it's spreading so the end of the day you have an organization where each stakeholder is thinking something different about the solution totally different and they don't have a framework in which to communicate that have you guys read the bible to tower babel story? Probably not okay, nobody could get any work done because nobody could understand what the heck they were saying and that's really what happens usually in this case scenario so when you have this, the shortest distance between start and delivery is usually a straight line, but here you have all of these disparate stakeholders oh my god, this means all of this okay, I'll show you another diagram for it. Well, we try to create with the process and I'm going to share with you it's a narrower barrier it's corridor notice that I said narrower it's not like completely narrow I mean there's no way to make it like super you know, perfect is simply to create a containment space because everything above this is wasted time and money and what I said earlier this startups majority of the time the initial eighty percent is wasted is because they did a lot of that to get to the product. So you want to go from this from thinking completely different things to this and a way to do that is by defining the core of what idea is in words so this doesn't sound like he's there experience but it is and here's how so user experience is really about getting the goals of the business, and the user's needs a line. I'm adding an extra dimension, which is who you are and that's really about authenticity. Ah lot of people focus on just that, and you could do that, but I call that a very technical term that should be added to the dictionary I call that dry humping, which is where you're sitting might be inappropriate, but is this pg thirteen or sis? This is all right good, which is you're really like making the motions, but you're not necessarily really getting a lot of traction simply because it is an authentic or it isn't a line with who you are or with the brand. So the brand is a layer that we're adding to this process, and that is a continuous layer and there's a lot of definitions of brand. In this case scenario, I'm using the definition of what your customers perceive you as it really translates into everything you do, every interaction, every way a word you say every color you choose, the product you create, the users you even have are dictated by who you are so that's an interesting thing, and I'm not going to go into details about brand specifically, but I can say, and one of the best definitions I've ever seen was written for the materials that were used at razorfish wish you know brand is everything it's all of the different, the manifestation of who you are and all the different touch points is a very eloquent paragraph. What that does is that it produces a framework for you in which two deliver things like design, design, directions and production, especially if you're working inside an organization that has a rapid cycle of production. Ah lot of people forgo that alignment because this takes a lot of time documentation and doing a brief look we got a deadline tomorrow we got a deadline the next day we got a deadline in a week we got a deadline in four days who's going to take time to do all the strategic stuff. It just takes too long. So this is where this facilitation idea and the work sessions come in doing it really fast. Mr customer, do you have an hour and a half today? You know, today we're doing it in two hours. You know? How long do you really have now? That could be uncomfortable, but that's what I'm here to share with you guys and better yet this part of the thing great take notes just watch me do it that's going to be the most important part so the brand aspect away we're going to do it is by defining and breaking it down into attributes what you'll notice and every single process that we use or exercise specifically that we use is that we're breaking things down into smaller chunks so who said chunks somebody said chunks marissa chunks so the idea is to break it down into small chunks you know the whole you know productivity kind of thing you have a big task break it down into little chunks if you want consensus how many of you have tried to do this with a client from the get go let's let's do together mission statement or brand statement how long will that take days months years because nobody's going to get into consensus and it's very difficult to do now could you ask them to brainstorm single words that represent each of these and you can break that down into time to exercise yes you can and I'm gonna do this it's already pre done for this client but you guys can imagine how it's done and we'll share more how you could do it once you have a lot of things like this the brand attributes begin to determine things like color fonts, imagery etcetera you're able to then come up with ideas around the brand attributes that really resonates so here's an example of the brand attributes was attentive and flexible you asked we listen open three hundred sixty five days all of that was written for a client who is a storage company in the design of their identity by an art director who's, not a copywriter but he did the brand attributes and he talked to the business stakeholder and we defined it one of their business objectives was to expand their product to be open, more to be more attentive. All of those things synthesize end up making the experience this is this physical space. This is not the website even though the website you'll see it in a second all of the things that we did in the brand attributes ended up life less cluttered space to think, dream and wonder all of these things super cool concepts that might sound like we're genius or like the design process is genius at the agency at blind where we did this all of that was done simply by the exercises immediately you started getting ideas and the team was really excited. So that's the brand now the users equally important here the users for this client it's called trojan storage is a storage facility, not the sexiest business in the world, right? What of every project you had? I could have the level of fidelity and the level of sexy sexy is up to you like how well you can really convinced the client you know how designers are sometimes like the client's sex they don't want to do cool stuff or our way we need to educate them I'll tell you right now that's your fault if you ever say your client's sex your fault number one you chose him don't know they chose no you you said yes so at that point you it's you it's all on you second I'm pretty sure and and I haven't failed at this yet I can convince inclined to do anything as long this is not about me as long this is about the users so we found out that you know a large majority of the clientele are, uh, women and that there's a lot of transitions happening. Jennifer is recently divorced peggy her uh her husband just died recently and her son is helping her like downsize from one side to the other peggy along the downside sir jennifer cortez in transition jeff he's ah contractor his businesses going he's a store equipment because he doesn't have a space at home the most important part of the profiles is what do they need? No. Our available storage unit sizes dimensions, locations and layout drive up access mobile access on his phone he's on the road all the time all of these things who did we find out about from do we talk to jeff no. The ceo of the company was in the room he knows his business he's an mba he's like I know my customers I know what I'm looking at the data all of that determined the size of the unit you know reserved this size we're showing drive up access notice that everything in the user experience is mapping back too the user like the decision to show that photograph of the units opening up a simple as it seems comes from that one user narrowing it down and prioritising it alright so goals this is where the business comes in there's only three categories that you can actually effect in a business super simple this is where it gets super quantitative revenue how you make money or it could be profit but in this case for start ups is revenue awareness how many people know marketing falls under this? The business model falls on your this how much you charge sometimes falls under this and awareness is about how many people know about you efficiency is really the system my station of your process is whether that be signing people up whether that be you know how you manage the design process whether that be whatever process whether it's a user or whether it's internal team keep in mind internal teams are also users one of the ways to solve the issues of your internal users tino is for us and manager to actually profile you up and down profile your people and profile that this might be in private with one or other to people in your team where you're actually understanding what their needs are as it manager the mistake they could be made is that you try toe overeducated that over educate them technically educate them so here's what you experienced was about and jargon and words in terms that's the biggest mistake never do that because they got their shit to run you need to just show them and do it either show him in vitamin tio into a session and it could be kind of ambush e but to say hey, we're coming better yet prototype a session on the side with lower level managers or with your team videotape it and spread it inside your company so people say like wow look at how quick we got consensus and alignment that is actually a better technique little sub sub sub sub certain what is it subversive? It works really well I'm really good at that in corporate environments uhm awareness how do you create buzz? So this is the exercise that we're going to do today very simple the description of what you're going to do so this is all the mechanics so creatively thin page create a website facebook ads the more granular you are with this the better this is features could be doesn't have to be these are the two this is a trick a lot of what we're doing in these exercises it's called I call it ambiguous ation you are not arguing about whether we need to create a linked in page or not how desirable it is it to you as an individual on the score of one to ten oh it's a nine how desirable it is it to you on the score of one to ten it's a seven if we blended and make it a nathan gets happy okay good all right so that's a desire ability of the executives in the room do ability is somebody brought this up which is capabilities we have the time the money and the political willpower to do it do we have the time the money the political willpower to do it? Mr manager mrs manager well you know our budget no no no that's a five and yeah that's a four yeah that's a six ok, we'll make it a five that ends up being a five notice we haven't added them up yet and that's how you're doing the exercise in terms of priorities for the business short, medium or long term when you have all that and then you add the end you do that's what I call the hat trick is you added up the priorities that surfaced nobody actually argued about him the numbers actually did the work for you never have I had that exercise not produced there like that looks about right that looks about her like priorities it has never been wrong ever this was actually designed the exercise type one of our embassies learned it in school but I found out some research that it's based on something called the carver method which is used for special forces to determine whether they hit a target or not it's a targeting system where they have all these kind of measures is it a valuable target of value strategically is it possible to do it do we have access do we want to do it like all those things because six members of a unit need toe all agree before they do something you don't want one guy not wanting to because then you're gonna have a problem in leadership here's what it does of your designer especially you're transitioning from print to webb and you're starting to do work for clients this is awesome new deliverables and design services come up from it an engagement it was a small set only there they told you you didn't propose to them hey you need to do all these things new deliverables new deliverables operational insight this is something that might need to be done here's a deliverable that blind didn't get hired to do which is designed all their damn locations all over the u s and look at how beautiful they are I mean if they got hired to do the logo and a website refresh a year and a half into it, they do everything. And guess what? The ceo says, you guys are like magic, like you guys know what we want before we even wanted none of it is a magic. They told us in a room. I mean, I facilitated the session. It was basically a road map that was created by them in a two hour session.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.


  • Create and interpret user profiles
  • Accurately assess business goals and requirements
  • Sketch wireframes for a website and mobile app
  • Facilitate an efficient UX design session with tools that work


Navigating the UX design of a digital project can take weeks and even months - in Fast and Effective UX Design: Learn the Process, design veteran Jose Caballer boils it down into just one action-packed session with a real client.

The designer’s role on a team is changing in the start-up age, and navigating competing interests and priorities on a team can be challenging; Jose demonstrates how to facilitate the UX design process with confidence, efficiency, and finesse. In this rare opportunity, watch him lead a live session with a client, moving from goal setting to user profiles to wireframe design with ease. Jose breaks the classroom’s “fourth wall”, pausing to note facilitation techniques in real time, sharing tips and ready-to-use templates.

The UX design process is about facilitating, listening, and translating. In Fast and Effective UX Design: Learn the Process, Jose Caballer shows you how the pros do it, and equips you with what you need to do it yourself.


This class is designed for creative professionals new and veteran to the UX design process: start-up entrepreneurs, UX designers, designers transitioning to UX, project managers, and more.


Jose is the co-founder of The Skool, an education company that teaches designers, agencies and corporations the design of business in the 21st Century. He studied graphic design at Art Center College of Design and was trained in digital “on the streets” of the .COM boom in the 90's. In 2001 he founded The Groop, the digital agency he led for 11 years, working with diverse clients such as Al Gore, Jamie Oliver, Thomas Keller, Alice Waters and corporate clients like Disney, Nike and Myspace.

Today he combines his 19 years of digital experience and his passion for teaching at The Skool. He has trained thousands of professionals through workshops and webinars worldwide.

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Love this class and so glad I bought it. I'll be able to refer back to his lessons again and again. His work with an actual client is what really sets this class apart, having provided specifics on how to ask a client a question, how to get them down to what matters most and on and on! Can not express how valuable this will be for me. Thank you Jose and thank you Creative Live!

Karey Covey

Great session. Covered a lot of information. Only suggestion for improvement was at the end, just giving a quick overview of the entire process again just to tie it all back together. Awesome info, well articulated, and very inspirational. Thank you!

Gary Harding

Have already recommended to a few colleagues. I am web designer, but I see great crossover benefit in strategizing with my web design clients. p.s. I was thinking that a Smart Feed rating could become a standard used by Rotten Tomatoes, Netflix so it would gain more power as being ubiquitous and useful.