The Design Language of Dance

Although it might sound strange, there are quite a few similarities between UX design and dance. UX design requires highly creative thinking and expert problem-solving skills when creating great experiences that users love.

Dance, in comparison, is much the same. Practicing new moves requires great communication skills, problem-solving know-how, and creative thinking skills to overcome any issues. So, let’s go into more detail about other similarities between dance and design and how learning about this can help shape great UX experiences.

Why Learning About Dance Is Fundamental to Great Design

Simplicity is Key

Simplicity is key when it comes to dancing. Dancers need to look as graceful as possible, making it look extremely easy for the audience. When it comes to UX design, it’s the same. The design should be easy to use, and the user should know exactly what to do and how to find the things they want to find without stress. It’s no wonder that one of the key tenets of UX design is ‘choosing the path of least resistance for the customer’.

Focus Less on Invention and More on Perfection

Another great lesson that dance teaches us is creativity. Rarely will a dancer create a brand new dance that no one else has seen before. Instead, they will often look at classic dances made by professionals and look to perfect them as best as possible.

This philosophy should be the same for UX. Getting all the fundamentals and best practices perfect ensures that the design is easy to understand and use, which is more important than brand new UX design that users might not know how to use properly.

Timing is Everything

Dancers need to get the timing perfect, or they will become completely out of sync with the music and their fellow dancers, ruining the dance.

You could apply the same principles to UX design. Designers need to constantly time how long it takes for a user to complete their goal. If it takes too long, the user inference will need to change in order to accommodate a quicker and easier way for them to complete the action. If this is not done, the user will get annoyed and may even switch to a competitor that has a more user-friendly UX.

Critically Evaluate Everything You Do

One of the reasons that dancers never make mistakes in live performances is that they are also critically evaluating what they did in previous sessions to ensure nothing goes wrong. The same applies to UX designers. By gaining feedback from every design you do, both negative and positive, you can learn to improve to reach perfection in your designs as professional dancers do.

Utilize Patterns and Rhythm

Pattern and rhythm are vital for dancers. Without it, their performance would be out of tune with the music and look drastically wrong.

UX designers also need to look at patterns and implement them in their designs. If a UX shares patterns in its interface, it allows users to navigate through it much more easily, as they recognize where they need to go next due to them identifying patterns throughout the design.

How Balance Can Help

Dancers, and especially ballet dancers, know the importance of balance. Sometimes they only balance on their toes with one foot!

UX designers can take some tips from using balance like dancers in their UX designs. Although having cool and flashy animations are great, at the end of the day, you need to make it easy for the user to navigate through to find what they are looking for.

That’s why balancing complex visual designs with simple, easy-to-read content is key for your users to enjoy the experience, whether it is for a website or an app.

Working as a Team to Achieve Success

To ensure the performance is one the audience will remember, dancers have to work well in a team. Constant communication with everyone from fellow designers to production team members is required to ensure they put in a top-shelf performance.

UX designers need to work with their fellow team members in order to stay on track and ensure the overall UX works without error. Like dancers, constant communication and feedback are necessary to achieve success here.

Use the Design Language of Dance In Your Next UX Project

So, as covered above, dance has a lot of similarities with UX design, and designers can improve massively by taking some of these lessons on and implementing them into their next project.

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Communication Between the Design Team and the Client

Communication is crucial to the overall success of your UX creations. One of the most important relationships in the creative process is between the design team and the client. When there is good communication between these two contributors, the likelihood of success is enhanced.

So how can you improve communication between the design team and the client? And what tools can you use to enhance this key relationship? In this blog, we’ll answer all these questions and more.

Why is it Crucial to Communicate Design?

Design is all about communication. At the heart and soul of design is a desire to connect with another human being. The total object of design is to communicate, in some shape or form, an idea that you believe can be valuable.

Designers are responsible for creating an experience worth using and worth paying for. To be a great designer, you have to learn to be a great communicator. This means knowing what your audience or client desires and fulfilling their needs. The great designers go beyond this and provide their users with something they didn’t even know they needed.

Not everyone you collaborate with will be receptive to your ideas or designs. However, as a modern designer, you have to be respectful and communicate your perspective as simply as possible.

Key Points for Presenting Design

Below we’ve highlighted a few key points that you should keep in mind when presenting your designs to clients:

  1. Understand your client’s business model:
    What is their plan for the next five years? What do they like? What do they dislike? When you understand your client’s business and aspirations, you will be able to see from their perspective and cater your design to meet their needs. If you misread their needs, you will cause communication to break down, and your plans will suffer.
  2. Know your audience:
    Everyone in the room has a voice that should be valued and heard. You should also recognize that not everyone has the same approval authorities. Know who you need to impress and who will have the final say.
  3. Don’t talk over their heads:
    Speak in standard, non-technical language. Your clients, while knowledgeable in some areas, may not be familiar with the specific design language that you may use every day.
    If you speak like this, you risk losing your audience and becoming disconnected from your client. Of course, they want to know that you know what you are talking about, but they also want to understand you.
  4. Use demos and visual aids:
    Your designs can’t remain theoretical for too long. The best way to communicate your ideas is to show them through visual aids and physical demos. Don't try to explain verbally when you can offer an actual prototype that the clients can get their hands on.

Collaborative Tools to Improve Communication

There are a variety of tools that design teams can employ to help improve communication with their clients, including:

Alternatives to Emails

  • ConceptShare

ConceptShare is a software company that focuses exclusively on the review and approval process for creative teams in large companies.

  • InVision

InVision is an online whiteboard and productivity platform purpose-built for team collaboration and design to improve digital workflows.

  • Slack

Slack is a modern business communication platform developed by software company Slack Technologies. Salesforce now owns it. Slack offers a variety of IRC-style features, including persistent chat rooms organized by topic, direct messaging, and private groups.

Make Clients Teammates

  • Basecamp

Basecamp is an American web software company based in Chicago, Illinois. They provide a project management and team communication service, an all-in-one toolkit for working remotely.

  • Trello

Trello is a web-based, Kanban-style list-making application developed by Trello Enterprise, a subsidiary of Atlassian. With Trello, you can organize work to allow every part of your task to be managed, tracked, and shared with teammates.

  • Asana

Asana is a web and mobile work management platform designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their work. The company was founded in 2008 by Dustin Moskovitz (Co-Founder of Facebook) and Justin Rosenstein.

Track Progress in Real-Time

  • Funnel

Funnel curates and harmonizes data in real-time to present real insights. You can collect all your data in one secure place and make it analysis-ready for you and your team.

  • Timely

Timely is a business management software that allows you to manage your business, connect with peers, and access education from global industry leaders.

Enhance Your Communication

By understanding your client, actively listening, and using the right tools, you will enhance the potential for communication between your design team and the client.

Be open, honest, and available to your clients so that you know what they want. Equally, make sure that your clients are open, simple, and available to you to know that you are on the right track.

Tools like Slack, Basecamp, Timely, and Conceptshare make collaboration between design teams and clients more accessible. If you want to succeed, the process is simple - ensure you’re making the most of the suitable tools and make sure you're being proactive with your communication every day.

To learn more about perfecting communication between the design team and the client, please contact our UX experts.