Ideas

DesignThink: Collaboration

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an Agile Team

Consistency, reliability and comprehensiveness ensure that the project is under control and that all members of the project team are “on the same page”.

The Design Resource Center (DRC) Library system is the bottom line for all projects:

Design infrastructure

I first implemented the Design Resource Center for my employer in 1996 on a Lotus Notes platform. It’s still a fairly useful model for managing and sharing design collateral.View this case study in my portfolio: Instinet.

I also implemented the Design Resource Center for interactive development groups at Dow Jones Markets, Immersant, Morgan Stanley and Bunge Global Markets.

General Reference

Organizes reference materials that are available to all teams and all projects.

Project Team Directory

Project Documentation Library

Component Code Module Library

Media Library Database

User Interface Design Guidelines

Documentation Templates

Glossary

Print Reference

Project-Specific

Create unique workspace area on DRC Library, which contains basic reference information for each individual project. Maintained by the Project Manager. The team can easily share information about the project.

Project Contact List

Project Documentation Library

Documentation

Requirements Gathering & Ongoing Documentation

Document Templates

The UxP Task List is a list of standard document deliverables that should be applicable to any project:

Project Team Roles  Who’s Who on the Project and what they do

Business Requirements  Document Template w/ Specific Guidelines

Best Practices  Reference Guide: Usability standards; Patterns of behavior

Design Specifications  Maps the site and its functionality (screenshots & workflow); guidelines for development

Documentation Guidelines  Step-by-step guidance for capturing info

 

Programming

Component Programming Module Construction

Reusable Component Program Modules

 

Interaction

Modeling

These techniques are used- preferably in the early stages of a project – both to identify project requirements and to develop the user interface. The DRC champion may use high-end authoring tools or pencil & paper storyboarding to visualize the software interface.

Style

Stylesheets, branding, ease of use, look and feel issues are mediated through the DRC. These serve as a consistent UI “template” throughout the design process and across projects.

 

Usability

As a general rule, the user interface for the project software should be subjected to usability testing and feedback early in the project development process. This cycle should be reiterative throughout the project life and may include assessment by dedicated human factors professionals (Usability Analysts). The DRC may need to arrange the Usability Testing Lab service with an external agency or we may develop it as an in-house capability.

Media Production

Media includes: icons, illustrative graphics, flow charts & diagrams, photographic images, company logos, 3-D imagery, charts & graphs and Web materials. Media production work may require the hiring of production professionals on an “as needed” basis.

The DRC establishes and maintains a Media Production Studio, which provides media production services to all BIS projects.

The DRC oversees a formalized method for “signing off” on any media to be released as a part of a BIS project.

The DRC maintains a Media Library (in the DRC Library) for developer use.

 

Support

If we are to maintain a robust ongoing relationship with our clients, then the project may require ongoing support.

Embedded Help

The DRC should be designing Project documentation with an eye towards implementing it as online help that is embedded within the finished product. The largest files in a professionally produced software product are in fact the Help files. This is a major development mandate and should be included in the project timeline and budget.

In certain instances a targeted task (such as installation) may be developed as a “wizard”, which has certain properties of a training module.

Education and Training

The documentation materials also provide the basis for development of Computer Based Training software, which may be oriented towards: end users, applications managers and support personnel (s.a. Marketing, Installation)

These training materials may be integrated with Online Help as “how to” tutorials or they may be developed as full-blown interactive training courses. Training materials naturally take advantage of media support (video, audio, graphics, animation).

Marketing Materials

The DRC is a terrific resource for providing high-end documentation, media and training materials for Marketing and Sales applications.

 

View the case study in my portfolio: Instinet

 

 

© The Communication Studio LLC

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