I work with my team to continually look for better and more effective ways of working. I’m a big fan of agile and iterative practices, but without a dedicated Scrum-master, it’s pretty hard to do full agile, IMHO. Over the past few weeks I’ve put together the following process for a UX and Design team to work to.

It incorporates many techniques that I think are vital to successfully delivering work:

  • Collaboration
  • Iteration
  • Regular reviews
  • Stakeholder input
  • Regular reviews (both with the team and with stakeholders)
  • Sketching
  • Prototyping
  • A style guide

This process was built around not having direct access to developers – so it  needs to sit within a wider Waterfall process, with a handoff into the development cycle.


The Process

 

1. Project initiator(s) work with UX to:

  • Articulate the business needs/requirements,
  • Articulate the user needs/requirements,
  • Articulate supporting research (where applicable),
  • Commission additional research, analytics support etc.

2. Project group assigned, which includes:

  • project initiator(s)
  • UX,
  • Design,
  • Test,
  • front end developers,
  • back end developers,
  • architect(s),
  • project manager,
  • business analyst,
  • content/editorial,
  • business representative(s) as applicable.

3. [ KICKOFF ] Carry out a Design Jam for the feature:

  • UX presents research and frames what the objectives are,
  • Group breaks into smaller, multi-disciplinary teams,
  • Teams brainstorm and sketch:
    • user journey/flow
    • pages and components

4. UX refines and elaborates the user flow and sketches.

5. [ ITERATE ] Sketches reviewed by team at weekly iteration review meeting.

  • Team breaks down features as much as possible,
  • Gives ROM (rough order of magnitude) estimates given for each story/task.

6. Milestone plan drafted and stakeholders identified (by UX and PM).

7. [ APPROVAL MILESTONE ] Sketches & plan reviewed by project stakeholder(s).

8.  [ ITERATE ] Agreed refinements as per Stakeholder feedback incorporated.

9.  Front end Developer works with UX to create a  prototype of the sketches.

10. [ ITERATE ] prototype reviewed by team at weekly iteration review meeting.

11. Informal user testing is carried out on the low fidelity prototype.

12. [ ITERATE ] Refinements as per testing incorporated.

13. Team reviews sketches/prototype in context of style guide (and component library), to determine how many new style elements and components are needed.

14. Designer begins works on new components needed for the project.

15. UX begins to create formal wireframes.

16. [ ITERATE ] Creatives & Wireframes reviewed by team at weekly iteration review meeting.

17. [ APPROVAL MILESTONE ] Creatives reviewed by stakeholder(s).

18. [ ITERATE ] Agreed refinements as per Stakeholder feedback incorporated.

19. [ DELIVERABLE ] Front end developer refactors low fidelity prototype (where necessary) and applies style to match creative design.

20. [ DELIVERABLE ] Designer updates style guide/component library. (The concept of delivering page level creatives is no longer necessary. We work on a style guide and update components, as necessary, and add new components as they are designed and signed off).

21. [ ITERATE ] Team reviews functioning feature/pages at weekly iteration meeting, ensuring that it meets the sketches & wireframes.

22. Testing carried out on functional (but not plumbed into the backend) feature/flow.

23. [ ITERATE ] Refinements as per testing incorporated and reviewed .

24. [ APPROVAL MILESTONE ] Final deliverables reviewed by stakeholders.

25. [ ITERATE ] Agreed refinements as per Stakeholder feedback incorporated.

26. [ DELIVERABLE ] UX creates detailed wireframes, documenting state changes and interactivity, and adds them to the component library. This becomes a primary resource for the test team, along with the user flow(s).

27. [ DELIVERABLE ] Style guide updated.

28. Front end developer works with backend developer to ensure that front end code is integrated as per standards, and that the same quality of code that was provided (by the front end developer) is being returned by the application server.

29. [ MILESTONE ] Project team and stakeholders sign off integrated feature.

30. [ ITERATE ] Team reviews pages/components/features as they are integrated into the back-end systems, and carries out user testing as necessary. Any changes as a result of seeing the integrated work is specified and scheduled.


So, I know that this is a bit of a brain dump, and I’ll add some rationale at a later point. But I’d love to hear any and all thoughts and feedback you may have. Have I missed something? Is there something that can be taken out?

 

Alex Horstmann’s user experience, usability, design, eCommerce and design bookmarks for November 23rd.

  • James-Lange theory – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The James-Lange theory refers to a hypothesis on the origin and nature of emotions and is one of the earliest theories of emotion, developed independently by two 19th-century scholars, William James and Carl Lange.
  • Web Content That Persuades and Motivates :: UXmatters
    There are several key elements that are missing from a large number of Web sites, and these missing elements often lead to bad user experiences and the total ineffectiveness of those sites.
  • » Design Jam London 1 Johnny Holland – It’s all about interaction » Blog Archive
    Design Jams are one or two day design sessions, during which people team up to solve engaging UX challenges. While conferences and talks are very popular in the UX community, we don’t have many events for actual collaboration, like the ‘hackdays’ enjoyed by the development community. Only a few UX designers participate in hackdays or open-source design initiatives –  how can we change this and get UX designers more involved? How can we introduce them to open collaboration formats? The idea of an event to get designers together to learn from each other while working on actual problems was born. Design Jams champion open-source thinking & sharing and are non-profit, run by local volunteers. The London team are Desigan Chinniah, Johanna Kolllmann, Joe Lanman and Franco Papeschi.
  • E-commerce (A-Z of user experience design resources)
  • Bounce Rate Demystified
  • Agile UX in Practice | Agile UX
    Agile development and user experience can work brillantly together… well, but how?<br />
    <br />
    Even if the effort related to Agile User Experience (Agile UX) continues throughout the project (with “just in time” designing and user testing) the User Experience foundations must be initiated at the very beginning of the project, during the first sprints.
  • Stressed Out About Holiday Shopping? Your Customers Are! | experience matters
    Regardless of their budget though, consumers told us that holiday shopping is stressful. Of course there are obvious reasons like crowded malls, outrageously chaotic traffic conditions and increased family obligations, but consumers face other speed bumps that companies can help with.

Please do feel free to suggest other related (and unrelated ones)!

I bookmark a lot of pages and sites which I find interesting, inspirational and informative every day! I’d like to share some of them with you here. In general they are about user experience, usability, UCD, accessbility and design. In general, but not always!!

  • Communicating errors
    Ideally, you'll design your system to prevent errors from occurring in the first place. But no matter how simple your system, someone, somewhere, will make an error when using it. The difference between a great user experience and an awful one is what your system does next.
  • Content strategy for dummies
    Information architects need to understand content. Content strategists need to understand context. In terms of traditional sitemaps, the boxes have no value without the interconnecting arrows. And the arrows have no meaning if there are no boxes to which to point. And that’s why there is so much gray area in the definition – and why the pedants will spend years fighting over definitions in the years to come
  • Management 3.0: Being an Agile Manager | Agile UX
    During an agile transition program, do not let your managers by the roadside! Rather help them to become Agile managers and to control the evolution of their profession.
  • 500 Internal Server Error
    500 Internal Server Error
  • Next generation of consumers – smart but not predictable | Tnooz
    I am fascinated by the buying behavior of different sections of society and different nationalities/tribes and what makes the consumer tick.<br />
    <br />
    Recently I have been thinking about the Millenials – those who are the next generation after the Gen-Y.<br />
    eMarketer has done two pieces on Millenials and its buying behavior. In the first, Millennials Show Off Brand Relationships, looked at how Millenials interact with and view brands.

Please do feel free to suggest other related (and unrelated ones)!

I bookmark a lot of pages and sites which I find interesting, inspirational and informative every day! I’d like to share some of them with you here. In general they are about user experience, usability, UCD, accessbility and design. In general, but not always!!

Please do feel free to suggest other related (and unrelated ones)!

I bookmark a lot of pages and sites which I find interesting, inspirational and informative every day! I’d like to share some of them with you here. In general they are about user experience, usability, UCD, accessbility and design. In general, but not always!!

  • A List Apart: Articles: The Discipline of Content Strategy
    We, the people who make websites, have been talking for fifteen years about user experience, information architecture, content management systems, coding, metadata, visual design, user research, and all the other disciplines that facilitate our users’ abilities to find and consume content.
  • adaptive path » blog » Kim Cullen » “Um…hello? Is this thing on?” Personal Voice in UX Design.
    I recently finished a 6 month project here at AP and after the final presentation one of my teammates asked, “So how would you describe your design style? I don’t know anything about it.” It seemed an odd question given that we had been working together for the last several months and I had just presented extensive visual design deliverables. But when it came down to it those deliverables did not, in fact, reflect anything about my personal design style.
  • Thoughts on Interaction Design – Welie.com » Blog Archive » Developing a Strategy and Vision (part 1)
    In my previous post on Strategy and Vision I discussed what they are and what the differences are. But of course what is far more interesting is how to develop a good vision and strategy. If you already have a vision you are in a luxury position and you ‘only’ need to find the best strategy. If you don’t have a vision yet, you have a lot of work ahead of you. However, it is not as bad as it seems because even if you have a vision there is still a lot to do. Let’s assume for now that you already have a vision.
  • Larry Constantine on Agile Experience Design | Agile UX
    In part 1, Larry insists on deep philosophical differences and variance in practices… As a UX practitioner and Agile Coach, involved in various agile projects, I unfortunately have to confirm some of his observations:
  • YouTube – WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM by Steven Johnson
    One of our most innovative, popular thinkers takes on-in exhilarating style-one of our key questions: Where do good ideas come from?

Please do feel free to suggest other related (and unrelated ones)!