Feb 11, 2020

Introvert is an unacceptable excuse for bad communication skills

Communication is one of the most critical aspects of product design. Naturally, it becomes a vital skill-set to possess as a designer of digital products. Yet, a lot of us struggle with it. Worse, a lot of us don't even want to work on it.

When I took a brief survey a while ago, almost all 40+ people who responded indicated that "communicating design thought process to various people/ functions in the organisation" is a problem.

It shows. If you're in-person communication skills suck, it'll reflect in your work where you're trying to 'communicate' to stranger users. We see a lot of 'Lorem Ipsum,' or 'let us design first, can take care of the copy later,' or even 'Writing copy isn't my job.' It doesn't stop there. Folks have refrained from interacting with users and would instead rely on second-hand information than do it themselves.
One of the common responses in defence that I have experienced is being an Introvert! Of course, you can train to get better at it.

More on it soon but two simple things we instil as practice at Cuddle:

1. In-person communication skills
Amongst peers, different functions, with stakeholders, getting thoughts across.
At Cuddle, you're expected to communicate effectively with members of various functions. You're supposed to quickly learn and excel at communicating design (decisions, process, final designs solutions) to your peers, oversight, and other stakeholders.

2. Designing with communication in mind
In product design, communication design, solution.
It's also required of you to own messaging, copy, etc. you put in your project. Note: Owning doesn't necessarily mean to do by yourself. You can take help, delegate, outsource that piece; ultimately, you'll be accountable.

Before you leave, could you answer this one question for me:

What is the your biggest communication-related challenge at work?

It's a Google form and will take you less than 30 seconds to complete.

Thank you.