“It’s very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better.”—Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer, Apple
Deciding on the right product-development process for your team can often be a paradox. Maintaining balance amidst a proliferation of inconsistencies in product requirements and development outcomes is challenging for both large and mid-sized organizations —especially when teams lack any metrics to measure their impact on a release.
Friction arises when there is a mismatch between the user’s mental model and product features. When a development team finds itself in an untenable situation, the blame game begins. But as Mad Men’s Don Draper often said, “Move forward.” Read More
Agile development and UX design are like a couple in an arranged marriage—a relationship between two strangers who are expected to coexist, develop trust and respect, and eventually, love each other. Throw UX research into the mix and you have the makings of an even more awkward alliance, as you can see in this typical conversation between a UX designer and a product owner, somewhere in the middle of Sprint 0:
Product owner: “Hey Jen, when can we see some wireframes?”
UX designer: “Well, we’re wrapping up our user interviews and putting together some personas—basically trying to get more clarity around our target users. We’ve already started on some sketches, but I expect we’ll need to make some tweaks based on what we learn.”
Product owner: “That’s all very good. But we can’t afford the luxury of spending too much time on research. Sprint 0 ends next week. We can’t keep the developers waiting! Let’s speed things up. I’d really appreciate if you could get those wireframes going quickly?” Read More
On a quiet spring morning, one of our clients—the director of a small firm with ten employees—called our office and wanted to see me the very same day to discuss a new project. When we met in the afternoon, he told me his firm needed a new Web site for the launch of their latest product, which they would promote—and, hopefully, sell—only on the Web. The site was to include communications tools for interacting with customers, Help, and a blog on which they’d announce new versions of the product.
Nothing strange so far. The firm meant to invest, as it had previously done, in user-centered design, online promotion, and development by my firm and two other partners. However, toward the end of the meeting, the director told me that everything must be online in three weeks’ time for a fair, and the whole site must be completed on a budget of less than $15,000.
Many firms and professionals who work internationally in user-centered design would not have taken up the challenge. In addition to the project’s limited budget, time is vital during the design phase. Typically, the more time you have, the better the solution you are likely to devise, because you can metabolize more ideas and reflect at length on more user interface and interaction design issues. Read More