Thursday, May 11, 2006


I have been creating some draft concepts of an incredibly complicated feature and I have drawn hundreds of pictures to determine what WON'T work and have come to the realization that sometimes it is still an important enough feature for some users that we need to do it, somehow. I am going to apply several progressive disclosure principals:
  • Allow the feature to be suppressed if the administrator doesn't want to use it with their user(s)
  • Make a new object type that will be visually distinct so the user is aware of which objects the feature can be performed on
  • Mimic a wizard metaphor that would allow the user to step through the complicated process

    So now I am trying to come up with some elegant storyboards that help the development and marketing team to:
  • See how valuable this feature will be for a percentage of the population
  • Explain the difficulties of providing the feature in the constraints of the current hardware and software
  • Depict the screens and flows present to allow the feature to be exposed and utilized

    I usally like to stay low tech for as long as possible, but I am using Microsoft Visio and Macromedia Fireworks to mock up the screens and flow. I haven't found any tool that allows me to show flow better than Visio. I started using the Macromedia suite for an old client, so I know it better than Adobe Photoshop. I would like to a graphics art class and I might just do that this summer - if I can take a break long enough to see if there is anything offered at night.

    Glenn L. Ray, Ph.D, from University of Pittsburgh has a powerpoint about the benefits of storyboards.
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