Whiteboard Design Sessions
Is your product design or development process not yielding results as fast as you'd like? Is your team suffering from analysis paralysis or scope creep? Whiteboard design sessions facilitated by The Usability Team help product teams who are confronted with a variety of challenges:
Convening a talented group of professionals in a structured environment with an experienced moderator will jump start your product's design process. Team members who participate in a whiteboard design session will have a common understanding of the business domain, technical solution, and on-the-glass implementation that is impossible to achieve if everyone reads the spec back at their desks.
The mock-ups that are created during whiteboard design sessions can be used as input to the development process and are also perfect for user group review.
Whiteboard design sessions have a lot in common with paper prototyping and rapid prototyping. Successful design sessions can take a variety of forms, but here is a typical pattern:
How Long Does it Take?
Overall Process: 4-6 weeks, or more.
As you can probably tell, the up-front work for a whiteboard design session is significant. The nature of the up-front work differs depending on what state the project is in. For example, projects that are paralyzed by scope creep or differences of opinion will have a different planning process than projects that are basically a greenfield design.
The six-week time span for this activity consists of the following:
The total duration of the whiteboard activity depends on how many increments we need to design your product.
Whiteboard design sessions may be conducted during Plan or Develop phases. When they are conducted during the Planning phase of a software development method (SDM), they are truly part of planning and early design. When they are conducted during the Develop phase of an SDM, they are usually motivated by a sense of "triage."
When designers, developers, business people, and domain experts start talking and sketching, all sorts of questions get answered:
The Usefulness Characteristic
Whiteboard design sessions touch on all three of the factors that contribute to usefulness:
Looks easy to put stuff on the glass, doesn't it?
Perhaps it is, but then add the following personalities to the mix: a developer, a business analyst, an end user, and a third-line manager.
Now lead them to consensus and design a usable product.
That's what The Usability Team enjoys doing.
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Scott Butler and Richard Gunther. All rights reserved.