Why is this basic process, still the best?
I’ve made a few assumptions here, first… you work in UX. Second, you’re familiar with Agile and third, you haven’t much time so I’ll keep this brief. Straight to it, here is a couple of the main advantages of low fidelity prototyping:
- Get better and more honest feedback
- More involved collaboration
- Make the cost of mistakes cheap, not expensive
- Refine the page flow, not the pages
- Figure out the interaction design rather than the visual design
“They look like design”
So, you can recall this conversion;
“But I thought those were the final designs?” asked the developer
“No those are just the wire frames” replies the UX designer.
“They look like designs” is the response.
“That’s maybe my fault, I went a little crazy with Balsamiq* Azure* Mokingbird*”
*delete as appropriate
You see this is the fine line you have to tread, on one hand you have binary people, problem solvers for the development team who only see the data. Matrix-style. And on the other, there are the visual people, you could argue the majority, who don’t see the API call and only care that all their fiends from that group on FB get that update you just shared.
This is where sketch based wireframes come into their own
Both the geek side in you and the creative can join forces and visually generate how functionality and design can merge together to eventually get what is desired. Where user needs come before technology.
The old acronym, KISS, is so perfect here. After days and days of labouring a point, of essentially flogging it to death, it still surprises me today that usually, the first super-simple solution, is usually the best. So, stick to your guns, fight your corner and ‘push-back’ across your team when the people without the expertise in that area try to exert their influence.
Thank all for their input, politely remind certain job-types of their role and then pull rank, it’s the UI guy that has the passion, has the expertise and should have the balls to take responsibility for all UI decisions.
So let the UI designer do their UI job
Scribble ’til your hearts content
So, in conclusion, from experience and from my heart, use low fidelity protyping to reach out to your stakeholder, to your analysis team and to you product owners and use it as a gateway to let the ideas flow. As Leo Burnett apparently always used to do, start those round-table decisions in the board room (best place, no phones, no email, no distractions) with a scribble stick and a layout pad for all. That way, unless you can get your idea over with a fat boardmarker in no more that 10 seconds then the idea should be filed in that famous ‘nice-to-have-pile’.
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