Each project is different, and the chosen approach follows that adage. “It depends”, right? Everything depends on context: the complexity of the challenge, the client, the client organisation, available time, other stakeholders, etcetera.
Basically, our design project runs along these lines:
- Global design
- Detailed interaction design
- Visual design
In some cases you will find these in a neat sequence, but in most cases we use a multidisciplinary team, where the team members work next to each other and strengthen each other.
Agile and Sprint Zero
A growing number of projects are attacked in an ‘agile’ manner. That means that in most cases a project is divided in short so-called ‘sprints’ of 2 to 3 weeks in order to come to an end product iteratively and incrementally.
Agile and design
Our design work fits in this approach perfectly. From experience we know that it doesn’t work to parachute a designer into a sprint and hope for the best. A product needs a solid base, in which the outlines have already been devised before any developer has raised a finger.
We accomplish such a base by having an effective ‘Sprint Zero’. A ‘Sprint Zero’ enables the designers to create a clear and shared image of the outlines of the product. An additional advantage is that the developers can see the outlines of the proposed solution, which removes a lot of uncertainty.
After the ‘Sprint Zero’ we design all detailed screens during the following sprints. We keep designing 1 sprint ahead of the developers. That enables them to start each sprint with a clear image of what they should build.
The design sprint is a brainstorm method developed by Google Ventures. In only five days you will get a working and tested prototype. Perfect to test new business ideas in little time for little money. Besides that, the design sprint is also a very nice way to get to know the people of Stroomt.
5 – 3 – 1 is a method to explore multiple solutions in a relatively short amount of time. In this process, we first create 5, then 3 and finally 1 design.
You use it when there are multiple solutions for the large challenges in a design. In addition, the method is particularly useful when multiple stakeholders have different views and opinions, and they need to be brought together.
1 – 10 – 100 is a method to clarify requirements by turning them into a design immediately (on day 1). Requirements by Design is how we also call this method.
The stakeholders adjust their requirements based on the design, resulting in a second version. That second version includes input from ‘real users’ as well.
You use it when requirements aren’t clear enough yet. This may occur when their effects are hard to visualize. You can also use it to get an image of the product quickly, in order to decide about GO or NO GO with minimal risk.