Your vision is defined, your mandate is clear, and your team is energized. You have captured user needs and business considerations, your detailed design work is underway and focused on meeting these needs and the larger user experience vision. And then circumstances set in as the work continues… new technical constraints, scheduling functionality delivery to meet release cycles, necessary deviations from the vision to meet short-term requirements, scope adjustments, and so much more. As UX practitioners, we often face challenges “keeping the vision alive” as projects get caught up in constraints, details, and politics. But we can’t let those things derail us or take things too far from that solid, long-term vision.

In this talk, we discuss strategies and practical techniques to help teams stay focused on meeting long-term goals, while addressing short-term needs and facing the circumstances and challenges that arise through the design and implementation process. Some examples we will show and discuss include: maintaining the rationale behind “blue-sky” thinking, methods for questioning constraints to get to innovative ideas, working with interim designs as intermediate steps to the final vision, and creating shared understanding and buy-in across the team for the long-term vision.