When I started this blog, Agile was not yet the lingua franca of product development. I was passionate about teaching the Chicago community about Agile. I helped start the Chicago Agile Project Managers Meet Up. I presented at the international Agile conference. I was coaching organizations to use Agile practices and how to integrate user centered design into product development. Good times. Based on this blog’s old google analytics data I can see that I was able to help a lot of people. Today I find myself spending very little time on blogs - reading or creating. My go to places to find content to learn and grow professionally didn’t exist when I started Planning for Improvisation. This blog isn’t needed anymore. As I have moved on, this blog can too. -Kal
This is from a product I use daily. Who wrote this code and thought they were done? Who approved these two button styles next to one another? I have this vision of a developer choosing a library that made their development life easier. I picture this code going straight into production use without review. Next, I picture the designer who works there rolling their eyes, checking out, and heading to LinkedIn to see what other opportunities exist. I'm being unfairly harsh, but it makes me wonder what other sloppiness is happening inside this product.
Image by Lars Plougmann I got asked by an investor recently how we at Digital H2O do design. I liked the conciseness of my response and thought it was a good example of how to tie user centric design into a business plan. Here goes: Our design philosophy is best described as user centric design. Our goal is to only design and build features our current, or potential customers, find valuable and that substantially help our business continue to grow. We spend significant time listening to our customers’ needs throughout the sales process. We then form hypothesis what customers’ needs are and what they can accomplish in the application. While designing features we show mock-ups and prototypes to customers in order to get feedback and incrementally improve the design. After the product is built and released we continue to test our hypotheses about how customers will use features we have built. We utilize automated event tracking in the app to monitor u