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Who is this guy?<br />With
a hat like that, he must know his shit.<br />Jeff Gothelf<br />Currently: <br />Director of UX at TheLadders.com<br />Previously: <br />Publicis Modem, Webtrends, AOL, Fidelity and an assortment of startups<br />Blog: <br />www.jeffgothelf.com/blog<br />Twitter: <br />@jboogie<br />Email: <br />firstname.lastname@example.org<br />
But The Precious was out
there….we were sure of it</li></ul>http://quizilla.teennick.com/user_images/T/tohrupenguin/1112394240_ryfrodosam.jpg<br />
So we set out on
a quest to find the unicorn!<br />And this was no ordinary unicorn.<br />Preliminary research made it clear that no one had really nailed this problem.<br />http://www.boingboing.net/gimages/patrick.jpg<br />
We had some very thorny
issues to tackle.<br />These became clear very early.<br /><ul><li> What to do with Big Upfront Design?
Will we be blamed if
they don’t?</li></ul>http://www.africandreamadventuresafaris.com/thornbush-arusha-national-park.JPG<br />
The journey of 1000 miles
starts with one step.<br />Our first step was research.<br />Agile and user experience<br />http://www.africandreamadventuresafaris.com/thornbush-arusha-national-park.JPG<br />
We took our 9-month waterfall
process…<br />Which was mighty and massive<br />http://www.julia-mathewson.com/photos/usa_2005_photos/8niagara1.jpg<br />
And jammed it into a
2-week timeframe.<br />We kept all the pieces and processes the same.<br />http://www6.worldisround.com/photos/29/323/524_o.jpg<br />
We became chairmen of the
boards.<br />It got a little silly, actually.<br />“The whiteboards do not help organize the UX team’s work at all. Instead, they block out natural light from the windows and create a harsh and uncreative visual environment.”<br />- Internal survey respondent <br />
Learnings from our first attempt:<br
/>UX morale in the crapper<br />Feeling of “going for the bronze”<br />Perceived quality of work was much lower<br />No time to design<br />No ownership or pride in the work<br />Summary: FAIL<br />
Learnings from our second attempt:<br
/>Style guides make life easier<br />Re-usable components FTW!<br />“Everyone is a designer” buys more UX time<br />Prototyping reduces the need for most documentation<br />Summary: We’re making progress<br />
Decision at second review is
made to move forward or spend another iteration designing</li></ul>http://www.flickr.com/photos/janekeeler/4677093058/sizes/l/<br />
Great, the customer likes it.
What about the product owner?<br />Opinions are like belly buttons. Belly buttons on cats.<br />“Design reviews have made the biggest difference. Having all the decision makers in one room has been crucial to getting projects approved on time.”<br />- Internal survey respondent <br />“Design reviews have helped reduce the “endless email thread” reviews we used to have.”<br />- Another internal survey respondent <br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/janekeeler/4677093058/sizes/l/<br />
Learnings from our third attempt:<br
/>In-sprint user testing provides continuous user feedback in advance of coding<br />Lightweight and cost-effective testing<br />Formal, fixed design reviews provide mileposts for everyone to strive toward<br />Unified approval processes buy more UX time<br />Summary: Win!<br />
Learnings from our fourth attempt:<br
/>Collaboration works<br />Anyone can contribute ideas<br />Focusing teams on one workstream proves effective<br />Camaraderie, communication benefit from aligned teams<br />Summary: Win! (that’s two, but I’m not counting)<br />
Evolution continues through the breaking
of old norms.<br />Moving towards parallel pathing development and design.<br />http://www.greatoutdoors.com/files/imagecache/display/files/images/articles/Wong%20leading%20a%20Powder%208%20win%20%20photo%20-%20Wong%20Collection.jpg<br />
Using the style guide leveled the playing field between visual design and interaction design. Now everyone on the team could put together a production-ready prototype of most features on the site. This freed up time and allowed folks to get more work done in the two week timeframe. But the quality of the designs and the thinking behind them started to drop…….putting puzzles together is not quite the same thing as design.
Prototyping allows us to show the rest of the team what the final app should look like and how it should behave before code is committed and without writing specs – essentially these took the place of our specs. Initially our prototypes were as functional as the one in the picture (delicious but not functional)…..
By showing the team the protoype in a meeting, together we surfaced the requirements and the issues with the current approach. Initial goal was to cut out specs. Next goal is to deliver functional code so we’re not throwing away valuable hours……