Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Four Factors of Agile UX

The greater the time you have the better the design ...

"On a quiet spring morning, one of our clients—the director of a small firm with ten employees—called our office and wanted to see me the very same day to discuss a new project. When we met in the afternoon, he told me his firm needed a new Web site for the launch of their latest product, which they would promote—and, hopefully, sell—only on the Web. The site was to include communications tools for interacting with customers, Help, and a blog on which they’d announce new versions of the product.

Nothing strange so far. The firm meant to invest, as it had previously done, in user-centered design, online promotion, and development by my firm and two other partners. However, toward the end of the meeting, the director told me that everything must be online in three weeks’ time for a fair, and the whole site must be completed on a budget of less than $15,000.

Many firms and professionals who work internationally in user-centered design would not have taken up the challenge. In addition to the project’s limited budget, time is vital during the design phase. Typically, the more time you have, the better the solution you are likely to devise, because you can metabolize more ideas and reflect at length on more user interface and interaction design issues.

Unfortunately, though, the Southern European market comprises mainly small firms who use the Web to support their traditional businesses and, therefore, have neither the budget nor the time for ideally conceived projects. So I accepted the engagement—and my partners are still furious with me.

The site was online after three weeks. Though the project was not perfect, it turned out well. How did we manage this, considering that we followed all of the usual design phases? Our success was primarily the result of four factors that we were able to exploit and manage during the design project, which enabled us to make design decisions quickly and move on with great agility."    (Continued via UXmatters)    [Usability Resources]


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