Earlier this month I presented “Resizing User Experience” at Midwest UX down in Columbus, OH. No, I didn’t talk about how to fit a website on a wristwatch—I addressed a persistent challenge faced by those who work at a design agency: how to adjust process and scale your efforts appropriately when the scope of projects can change dramatically at every turn. For example, turning a 60,000 page CMS-managed site down to a Facebook sweepstakes, or turning a product database-integrated tablet app into a 6-page microsite.
In my role as an interaction designer, there are a lot of tools to help prepare for and plan effective user experiences. However, as time and budget put pressure on process, it can be easy to lose focus on the user and instead focus on creating deliverables to keep the project moving quickly down the pipeline. While I can’t always curb external factors, I have developed a task table to keep my process focused on the user and to help select the right tools for the project at hand. I have identified five steps that are critical to developing a successful user experience for any size project:
- Determine goals
- Understand the environment
- Plan the interaction
- Assess and validate
- Document the plan
I use these steps to help plan my approach to a project: how much time to spend on each step, which tools are appropriate to use and what deliverables are needed to make sure all of these steps are accounted for. No matter how large or small, I can use this framework to make sure my process is thorough and user-centric, while adjusting the time and type of deliverables to match the scope of the project.
To see more tips about how to choose the right deliverables for your project, check out my presentation slides on SlideShare.