Why Design For Feedback (DFF), why not design to finish, it needs to be finished sometime?
When I first arrived at my current employers, I found some digital designers would pick up a design project at the beginning of the sprint and demo it at the end of the sprint to the product owner. I remember seeing one piece of design work being finish and demoed three times in a row. This meant that three weeks later the designers and product owner were getting frustrated with the lack of progress.
Design for feedback was the key, using white board rapid sketching we created a visual conversation with the product owner. This allowed both the Agile team (Dev, Design, IA etc) and product owner (client) the opportunity to build up a conversation around the problems, the solutions were discussed and visualised through rapid sketching on the whiteboard.
Capturing the white board scamps, we then started creating low fi designs, with the aim of discussing the evolving designs every 2-3 hours.
Remembering that we were still designing for feedback we took out the unneeded complicated design elements and the Design For Feedback process evolved from low fi designs to polished ideas.
This constant Design For Feedback process kept evolving far after the site pages went into user testing and then live. Every day the pages were live they were giving valuable user insight back into the evolution of the living pages.
In a nutshell Design For Feedback added value by improving communications and speed, whilst reducing design waist.
Also see continues delivery
So there you are in your war room or wall, you have done a few days of an Agile Inception. You now have the business model licked and a collection of customer insights, empathy maps and user journeys path the way to creative envisioning and a back log of user stories.
If only. The fact is, not every project is large enough to warrant a war room or its own wall. Projects such as banner designs, campaign landing pages or micro sites are all small projects that are sometimes pushed through one scrum all at the same time.
This means that getting an insight of where that wireframe came from would be helpful, but having no insight into the problems they are solving leaves the Visual Designers reverting back to guessing what is right.
So, in steps the Agile Mini Wall.
Having a Mini Wall will add value to small projects. Your Mini Wall will give a visual insight into the history of business, customer and technical goals. You will be able to understand the projects pains and gains at a glance.
Just like mobile first, you will discover that by reducing down a war room of information into the space of an A1 poster will help really focus the team on what matters.
The speed the digital world is evolving is mind blowing, at this rate even the Bionic Man would need an upgrade every week.
Take a snap shot of today. We use lean and agile delivery processes, we want to fail early, visual web design is being driven by UX, responsive web design and gamification are the trendy words of the moment, Ipads are out selling laptops and everyone can get a personal cloud.
With the digital world running at such a fast pace, who knows where we will all end up in a years time.
But there is one thing I know that will never change, my core beliefs.
So welcome to my world, a Creative Director who is stuck on fast play in a digital world.