Experience Design: Reasonable Conclusions

[Note: I have tried to distill a set of ideas about the kind of design that I am most used to doing. Much of these ideas are based on other smarter people’s work. This is more of an exercise in putting down what makes sense to me than advocating for a particular approach, which depends, etc.]

Experience design is an intersection between technical expertise and human needs. It connects what people want, what is emotionally meaningful to them, and what is technically elegant.

Experience design is not a separate process, deliverable, or strategy. It connects a development team to users, through mutual alignment, prototyping, testing, and iteration.

An outline of a process for Experience Design…

First: alignment of team. Product strategy and ideation between development and product, before sprints. Whiteboard sketches, mocks and an overall vision. Conscious decision not to discuss product direction/strategy in sprint. Discipline of team to be able to realign between sprints (this is role of product).

Next: continuous, close collaboration. Design commits to deliver (or collaborate on) presentation code stories. QA, design, and engineering write test cases up front. Interactive prototypes (HTML, or whatever works), not mocks or wireframes. Engineers stub-out models and rough views in collaboration with design.

Finally: finished design. Design pattern library provides basic building blocks for working presentation code. Developers and design collaborate on trying out test cases and iterating on interaction. Design delivers presentation code towards end of sprint.

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