The Promised Land of Prototyping

Interaction designer Henrik Olsen writes about the benefits of prototyping in this article from The Interaction Designer’s Coffee Break.

“While some may claim that prototyping isn’t one of the wonders of the world, it’s definitely a wonder of web and software development. It can help us design better products and overcome many of the hurdles that tend to surface during a development process.”

In the article, Henrik puts forth the following points:

  • The product is designed
  • Helps us externalize and develop ideas
  • Legalizes experimentation and revisions
  • Can make the intangible tangible
  • We can satisfy clients’ wish to see quick results
  • We can take the client for a test drive
  • We can reduce scope creep
  • Makes early usability tests possible
  • Improves team collaboration
  • Can serve as a master plan for implementation
  • Improves cost-efficiency

In addition, Henrik mentions that “changes to a design are inevitable and it’s impossible to get it right the first time.”  Prototyping and reaching agreement with stakeholders at an early stage will avoid major costs and rework in the future.

Henrik concludes with the following:

“With prototyping, we can create better products, and the entire project workflow is made more efficient and less frustrating for everybody involved. It’s a true wonder.”

The full article can be read at this link.

Experience or Don’t Experience. There is no Try.

At graphpaper.com, user experience expert Christopher Fahey discusses the purpose of User Experience Design in a recent blog post.  His conclusion is that we must not mistake “trying” something for “experiencing” it.

“The purpose of user experience design, or UXD, is to understand that user behavior can be seen as part of a holistic experiential model instead of as a shallow, temporary hit-and-run encounter. In the domain of user experience, then, we must not mistake trying something for experiencing it.

The most revolutionary products, the things you “never knew you wanted but can’t live without”, only catch on when people are able to move quickly from trying to experiencing:”

  • Product Reviewing
  • Trying new Social Apps
  • Usability Testing
  • Product (or Website!) Design

The rest of the blog post can be found at this link.

Product Managers Are Critical To Success

James Shore, recipient of the 2005 Gordon Pask Award for Contributions to Agile Practice, write a blog called Successful Software.

In a recent blog posting, he wrote “To recap, the product manager is the person on the team who is responsible for maintaining the vision of the product the team is producing. He (or she) must have a strong sense of what value the product brings to the organization or its customers and he has to have the authority and political know-how to tie together many disparate interests and desires. This person also needs to be easily available to the team to make the tough calls about priorities, what goes in to the product, and what stays out. On an agile team, he should also participate in every planning meeting and review every demo.”

The rest of the blog post can be found at this link.