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Un-siloing Your Project Team with Collaborative Sketches and Digital Prototyping

Un-siloing Your Project Team with Collaborative Sketches and Digital Prototyping

Video recording available here: http://bit.ly/collaborative-sketches

Presented at Drupalcon Austin 2014 with Kat Kuhl and Ika Lestari.

Creating great user experience is critical to the success of a web project. Yet in the traditional approach, most of the site's experience is decided by one user experience professional, expressed in PDF wireframes, and interpreted by other team members after the fact. On rushed projects, the time for feedback from others may be limited, resulting in final wireframes that have your designer shaking his head, or your developer wondering what data is going to drive that neat "Related Publications" block the client loved.

By replacing wireframes with collaborative sketching and Drupal prototyping, you can get your whole team involved early and keep them engaged as the project moves from phase to phase. You can also build sites faster and better by answering the question of "How will it work?" and "How will it act on a mobile device?" while you're thinking through the functionality. We've had success with this method at Rock Creek, and we'll go over:

The benefits of collaborative sketching for the project and team members
How to conduct the sketching activity and the Drupal prototyping efficiently
Challenges of this approach and ways to implement it at your company
Case study samples
The trips and tricks we’ve learned along the way to make this a successful approach

Michelle Chin

June 04, 2014

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  1. Kat Kuhl - Director of Technology | @webbykat Ika Lestari

    - Sr. Graphic Designer Michelle Chin - Sr. UX Strategist | @soysaucechin A LITTLE ABOUT us Rock Creek Strategic Marketing Washington, DC | @rockcreeksm
  2. WIREFRAMING CHALLENGES • Lots of revisions • Lots of handoffs

    • Lack of engagement throughout the project
  3. WHAT DO WE REALLY NEED? • Something easier to understand

    • Something quicker to iterate upon • Something more realistic • Something that involves everyone earlier
  4. MAKING THE CHANGE: COLLABORATION Pick a small project. • Less

    risky • Manageable in size • Quicker to recover
  5. MAKING THE CHANGE: COLLABORATION Get buy-in from your teammates. “Hey,

    would you be up for trying out this sketching approach?”
  6. MAKING THE CHANGE: COLLABORATION Involve the right people. Everyone! UXers,

    developers, designers, accessibility analysts, content strategists, project managers...
  7. Set expectations. • Sketching will lead to a prototype; no

    paper wireframes. • Could make your life easier… maybe. • Could be a bumpy road; but get pumped! MAKING THE CHANGE: COLLABORATION
  8. • Markers • Paper • Masking Tape • Scissors •

    Sticky Notes • Snacks! • Music! WHAT YOU’LL NEED
  9. CHOOSE THE right SPACE • Open area • Ample wall

    space • Freedom from distractions
  10. WHAT TO SKETCH • Main pages - homepage, landing pages

    • Pages with unique functionality/features (galleries, data-heavy pages, etc.) • Responsive versions of the above

    SKETCHING SESSION 1.5 - 2 hrs SKETCHING SESSION 1.5 - 2 hrs 2 1 DISCUSSION SESSION 1.5 - 2 hrs 3 1 DISCUSSION SESSION 1.5 - 2 hrs
  12. • Set expectations. ◦ Goals of the sketching ◦ What

    happens in each session • Provide background info. ◦ Site map ◦ List of pages to sketch ◦ User research - personas / scenarios ◦ Previous project work PRE-SKETCH MEETING
  13. PRO TIPS FOR SKETCHING • Encourage everyone to sketch. •

    Remember that no idea is a bad one. • Pay attention to everyone’s energy level.
  14. DISCUSSION STEPS 1. Pick a page. 2. Go over ideas.

    3. Pick one sketch or parts of some. 4. UXers - use your UX skills. 5. Someone - take notes!

    your facilitation skills. • Make sure everyone is heard. • Vet the ideas with your teammates (experts!).
  16. WHAT’S NEXT? The UX Designer: 1. Creates lo-fi reference sketches.

    2. Works in tandem with the developer to begin building the prototype.
  17. SO… YOU NEVER WIREFRAME? Wireframes are a communication tool; so

    are prototypes. Use whatever is most appropriate for a task.
  18. “When PDFs, JPEGs and other static artifacts get thrown around,

    there’s a tendency to forget the medium for which you’re designing. - BRAD FROST “ bit.ly/html-wireframes BUT REMEMBER...
  19. WIREFRAME DESIGN Site Building, Module Installation, Module Development DEVELOP Migration

    Theming DEVELOP Theming, Module Development SKETCH PROTOTYPE Site Building, Module Installation, Migration DESIGN DEVELOP Migration, Module Development ORIGINAL NEW
  20. This isn’t a throwaway product… ...so you have to remove

    the things you don’t need. WARNING!
  21. • Install a prototype theme. • Consider source order and

    positioning. • Adjust the mobile experience as needed. FRONT-END TASKS (minimal)
  22. • Build out menus based on the sitemap. • Set

    up content types, taxonomies, & views. • Make persistent block associations. • Set up aliases & breadcrumbs. • Install modules for more complex functionality. SITE-BUILDING TASKS
  23. Use your functional prototype to... • Get buy-in from your

    team. • Get buy-in from your client. • Do usability testing. BENEFITS
  24. THANK YOU! Michelle Chin | @soysaucechin Kat Kuhl | @webbykat

    Ika Lestari | convince her to join Twitter Rock Creek Strategic Marketing @rockcreeksm