Monday, May 08, 2006

Developing the Invisible

Trying to consider what you can't see...

"During my years as an interface designer, I’ve worked with lots of different development teams. From big companies to small startups, the interactions between me—the product designer—and developers have been pretty consistent. We work through what interactions and features are possible given our timeframe and resources. We discuss edge cases and clarify how specific interactions should work. We debate product strategy, information architecture, target audience, front-end technologies, and more. We also frequently encounter the same issue: the need to consider what’s not there.

The way we get there is always the same. I work with the product team to balance user goals, business requirements, and technical considerations to create a product design. That design gets vetted, iterated, and ultimately documented.

Because I mostly work with fast-paced Web companies, I frequently have to create my design documentation under aggressive timelines. This means there is not a lot of time for creating detailed design specifications. Nor is there an opportunity for me to provide templates in HTML and CSS for every part of an application. So I turn over mockups and workflows—in the form of stories or task diagrams—to the development team. What I frequently get back is half of the design.

By half of the design I mean that all of the features, content, and functions are there, and they are working as designed. So what’s missing? Isn’t that the complete product design?"   continued ...   (Via UXMatters)


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