Friday, September 30, 2005

Driving Design

I am juggling a couple of clients right now and it always amazes me how much time i spend shaping how people react to things presented. I have to make sure I know who is coming to a meeting, their possible positions and arguements in any change or innovation. I have to dream up what their perceived risk, issues and concerns are before they see a concept or the design will be eaten alive or squashed before you can even figure out that the change is just the thing the product needed to stay fresh, usable and useful.

The Usability News had an article by Ann Light about the Interact 2005 conference keynote by Bill Buxton.
'As designers, we spend more time designing the organisation and the attitudes of the people around the process,' he said, estimating that only 20% of effort is spent designing the thing itself."

I don't know about what else he said, but I can't wait to read the book.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Reporting contextual inquiry results

Everyone needs see the results of a site visit. What's the best format? As a designer I like to apply what I learned immediately to pre-visit concepts and make them more real so that I will have time to validate and iterate. But the team needs to understand what you did, who you saw, and why this new perspective is more accurate then their previous view of the world.

So a trip report has to include:
--Who you visited
--What you observed
--How the process observed modifies current flow
--How the procedures and language modifies current terminology, field labels and options.
--How the design, screens and hardware should be modified to reflect this new understanding.