Thursday, January 11, 2007

Early and often: How to avoid the design revision death spiral

Maximizing client feedback and experience ...

"One lesson we’ve learned over the past several years here at Cooper is that on the vast majority of our projects, intimate client collaboration is a critical ingredient for success. This is a lesson that we have sometimes learned the hard way; collaboration can be messy, unpredictable and has often forced us to compromise what we thought was a supremely clear and elegant vision. Despite these growing pains, we have now come to embrace the unpredictability and compromise; through well-managed client collaboration, our designs are stronger and are more likely to serve our clients’ needs and satisfy the goals of end users.

It is the aim of this Practice Study to discuss the methods we have adopted to get maximum benefit from our clients’ expertise and feedback while maintaining creative momentum and achieving our milestones and deadlines.

Before delving into discussion of these practices, it will be useful to discuss the objectives of client involvement and then to outline challenges we have encountered working with our clients.

Desired outcomes
First and foremost, our objective in client collaboration is to work together to design the most effective, innovative solutions that meet user and business needs. Some of our clients have a good sense of what their customers are looking for and what they will find desirable and useful. Our clients also often have fantastic ideas and we are thrilled to incorporate these into the designs.

As David Kelly puts it, “Successful design is done by teams. Creative leaps might be taken by individuals, but design thrives on the different points of view found in teams. You want a multidisciplinary team… You want different brains working on the problem. Otherwise, the person with the power, or the person who speaks the loudest, sets the direction for the whole design."    (Continued via uiGarden)    [Usability Resources]


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