For those interested; more information on the training:
I would like to share my two most important insights from this training.
1. Do More User Centered Design
Hippo's development process is very much technology-oriented and requirements are mostly based on internal vision only. The level of UCD should be higher. There are two key elements in this:
- Design research (usefulness). Truly getting to know and understand our users; what is the value of our software to them, what is important to them on a deep level addressing feelings and concerns.
- Usability testing (usability): once useful functionality has been determined and designed, we should test whether it is usable (before developing it). Note: designed means 'draft design' here; testing with paper prototypes, mockups, partial clickables etc. There are some good methods to do 'guerilla' usability testing (=fast and low cost).
This will result in better adoption, higher customer satisfaction, higher ROI, etc (although it is difficult to put some hard numbers on this).
- Set up methods for design research / usability testing which fit within the Agile process: set up user group, stakeholder interviews, domain investigation
- Deliver design artifacts: personas, use cases, mental models, sketches, wireframes, prototypes
Design is not a 'black art'; transforming data from the design research into 'bits and clicks' can be broken down into distinct tools and steps that anyone can learn and use to improve. I want to make these design artifacts more tangible (to Hippo developers, management and user group) by having it centrally available on our Confluence-wiki. This will help:
- Communicate designs and open up design discussions internally
- Do remote usability testing
- Align stakeholders and end-users concerns/goals, preventing people filling in the gaps with their own different assumptions.
- Secure design knowledge
- Shorten design process (by means of reusing patterns from a central library)
- Create a 'UI-place' on Confluence and start filling it in. Note that this will be an ongoing thing (so-called 'living specifications').
- Try-out Balsamiq, which is a wireframing/prototyping tool which integrates with Confluence.
Hope this gives you some idea of what I've been up to in London and like to hear your opinion on this.