Functional Design and The Ouija Board

Before you get too excited, this isn’t a post about how the occult has cornered the market on good UX design…but they do have something in common. At least, they did for me this afternoon.

While listening to a podcast and learning more about Adobe Illustrator, the hosts began discussing their thoughts on Ouija boards and the way their friends and family would tease them mercilessly with haunted tales of possessed kids and all that malarkey. So I decided to use it as a kernel of inspiration and used elements of the show to create a version for them:

At the very least, I kept myself distracted on a Saturday so…huzzah?

In researching a few techniques to accomplish this much needed distraction, I came to a sudden realization and felt that it had a close parallel to a lot of the work I’ve been doing lately. You see, as consultants, our daily efforts are focused largely on the tools and functionality of Power Platform and its various components. This, of course, makes sense. A huge piece of our responsibility comes in both configuring and maintaining systems and software.

HOWEVER, the revelation hit me like a bag full of mashed potatoes when I started focusing on the true functional design of what I was trying to accomplish and not attempting to master the tool set that I had in front of me.

My clients (god bless them for their patience) have heard me rant endlessly about asking the “why’s” behind the “what’s” questions during discovery sessions. My goal is to help keep the discussion centered around building User Stories and ensuring that I’m getting all of the information I need in order to correctly set expectations moving forward. Nonetheless, I think we sometimes lose sight of the forest for the trees simply because we’re buried in our daily tasks. It really does behoove us as the overseers of the project to stop and lift our heads above the treeline with some regularity to make sure that we’re not just building blindly…but that we’re building with purpose and that the purpose is driven by empathy for our clients and our ability to improve their business processes through innovation and the Power Platform.

Next week will be back to tips/tricks and info, I swear.

Until then, let’s all try to take a step back, double check our forests and return with a renewed focus on empathy driven design!

(and stay away from Ouija boards, kids…unless you want to accidentally touch hands with the person you liked in middle school and then, when they look at you with what appears to be a scowl on their face, you want to sprint out of the room while fighting back tears of embarrassment! 🙂 )