Portfolio: Communication is Key

Socialization and Alignment

One of my personal tenets is that the discipline of Product Management is fundamentally about socialization and alignment: two specific types of communication. Socialization is the art of creating a shared understanding with other people. This could involve creating a clear understanding of the problem to be solved, making people familiar and comfortable with a proposed conceptualization of an opportunity, or creating consensus around a potential solution candidate. Alignment is also one of the most important professional skills needed to help ensure that the entire team is pulling in the same direction while delivering desirable, viable and feasible solutions — and this is perhaps especially true in digital health, where the domain issues are often deeply complex and stakeholders are highly invested in their work and improving patient outcomes.

Small part of the customer journey map wall and digital product & service initiatives

Documentation and Prototypes

Models are one of the primary ways that designers communicate, especially in early stages of projects. We are in the business of understanding systems, and oftentimes these are best communicated with simplified models. Coming out of a research activity, I will create persona models, mental models, and customer journey maps — all of them illuminating the most relevant and meaningful aspects of users’ goals, contexts of use, and ways of operating in the problem space at hand.

Example Patient Journey Map, from my “Understanding Patient Engagement” presentation with Macadamian
An example of detailed design specifications for St. Jude Medical
Next-generation app prototype screens, created in Sketch before moving to InVision

Evangelizing Design Thinking

The approach known as “design thinking” has swept through the world these past few years, as a catchy way of capturing the innovative power of iterative phases of research and design. Fundamentally, it illuminates the iterative power of modeling, prototyping, testing, and refinement that is the heart of design. While some long-time designers got a bit grumpy that yet another set of nomenclature was being sold to business, I thought it was ultimately very positive because evangelism is a key part of UX work— not just in terms of specific research findings and solution candidates, but truly our very existence and value. So, thanks for that, IDEO!

Teaching the Cooper U Practicum to a group of designers in Canada
Interaction Design is fundamentally about creating new scenarios to deliver better user experiences

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Elizabeth Bacon

Elizabeth Bacon

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Conceiving & strategizing. Humanizing healthcare. Changing the future. Loving nature and inner mind. Optimistically engaging.