Stuart Silverstein Experience Strategist/Designer

What I Do

I take business ideas and turn them into buildable designs.
I help bridge the gap between strategy, research, interaction design, and process.

I’m a hybrid: Strategist/Designer/Technologist, order so I practice a multi-disciplinary approach to define and deliver digital experiences. My background is in visual design. I have over 13 years of design experience. In 2008, troche I started to become less interested with brand messaging and marketing, and became obsessed with creating the easiest way for users to accomplish tasks. It was a natural fit. As a born systemizer and optimizer, designing experience sort of found me as I was working on larger projects, doing definition, wireframing, and research. I often found myself just as comfortable with business operations and reporting, as I am with design, so as a result, I got more involved in strategy, and less and less in creative execution.

My approach is always data and user centric. I try to be part naive child, part scientist and part seasoned pro, keeping an open mind, always asking questions, proving what we know, defining what we don’t and using years of experience leading teams to excellence. In additon, I am a big believer in creating systems and frameworks that allow creatives and to communicate ideas to clients and stakeholders with the right toolset and the righ fidelity.

I practice 3 areas of experience design: Experience strategy, Process design, and Interactive design

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Areas of Practice

Experience Strategy

Experience Strategy is the process of defining audience, understanding users needs and creating experience and messaging cross channels to meet consumers’ needs, with surprise and delight along the way.

According to a 2013 NPD study, the average amount of internet connected devices per household is 5.9. In another study by Sophos Lab, the amount of mobile devices a person carries is 2.9, which includes tablets, laptops, mobile phones and e-readers and others… and with wearables entering the picture soon.

With a large diversity of digital devices, the digital landscape has become very complex for products and marketing, and more difficult for teams to prioritize the right features for each platform to create a seamless experience regardless of device. To do this properly, you need understanding of who the user is, what knowledge they bring with them in their head, what information they need and when they need it. There is the other side of the equation which is the business goals, in which, a desired outcome by the business, needs to be translated into a product and requirements for something that can be built. Once you understand that, there needs to be a way to validate hypotheses and test iterations to create the right product blend. This is the discipline of experience strategy: to create a picture of who the user is, understand their needs, understand business needs, and deliver a solution.

 

Process/Systemization

Teams often spend insubordinate amounts of time on approach and redoing the same work. There is a set of tools, recipes and formulas, which not only helps teams do work faster, but makes it easier for teams to communicate ideas, and spend less time figuring out how the work is going to get done, and more time creating solutions.

In my career, I have seen a lot of wasted time on things that a solid process can help. Not only within design disciplines, but the entire project team. Once we have a framework and a set process in place, we can all get to work.

My general strategy process is as follows, modified for culture, time allotment, goals and maturity of the business:

  1. Define and understand the user and opportunities via various research methods
  2. Plot the experience path & use cases
  3. Define business needs, goals and objectives
  4. Create prototypes/MVP & architecture
  5. Test (if time allows)
  6. Build a functional working version/release
  7. Iterate/Test
  8. Plan for next phase of work.

Interactive Design

Design is the portion of the process when the magic happens. When we take all ideas and create a solution to an actual problem. My approach to design is wholistic: part intuition, part qualitative, part je ne sais quoi. Ultimately it is what we have been “training” for in the research and strategy phases.

My approach to design is always data centric to help teams focus on a challenge, judging design focused on the user and the goals of the project. At the same time, you have to use intuition gained doing research. Finally, you complete the puzzle by creating interactions that delight and encourage discovery, without sacrificing task oriented behavior.