Why do we have to fight so hard to convince clients (and that can include bosses and/or coworkers) that we should think about the problem before we start designing the solution? And that we should test out solution while it’s still in a cheap and easy-to-change form (say, paper prototypes) before spending a ton of time and money building the wrong thing?
Reading through Jeff Rubin’s terrific Conceptual Design: Cornerstone of Usability I kept going, “Well, of course. Well, yes, of course.” Sometimes because I’ve been doing user-centered design for a while now and I’m familiar with the techniques, but too often because he was
saying one needs to fight for the right to research the problem, sketch out a few solutions, test a prototype and then start building the product.
Is this a shocking protocol?
1. Study the problem, including the competitors’ solutions.
2. Sketch out a couple of different solutions.
3. Test a rough protype of your solutions with the people who will use the product to see if you have a good solution.
4. Revise the solution based on what you learned.
5. Build a prototype that is close to the finished thing.
6. Test with the people who will use it.
7. Make fixes based on what you learned.
8. Ship the product. Include a feedback devise so you can make the next version even better.
Can anyone read that and find it a revelation? Do we really need to proselytize common sense?
Don’t answer that…