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ByMichele Ide-Smith

Doing rapid product design in the wild

Last month I was lucky enough to try out a completely new approach to running a stand at a software tradeshow, in Texas. Over 3 days we designed and developed a prototype for a new software tool. Using rapid prototyping techniques (paper and HTML/CSS prototyping) and Agile development methods, we were able to get feedback from prospective customers and iterate our designs during the tradeshow.

Our stand was specifically designed to provide a UX area for working on designs and gathering customer feedback, and a development area with a Kanban board to track our progress. We made the process completely transparent by putting up all the feedback we received on the walls of the stand.

I’ve written a case study of the ‘Live Lab’ concept, describing the process we used, on the Red Gate UX Blog. I’ll also be writing up the lessons learned in a separate post very soon.

In September I’ll be doing a talk on this case study at Agile Cambridge 2012. I did a warm up talk at UX Camp London last Saturday:


 

 

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ByMichele Ide-Smith

Useful links and resources – 31 October

Social Media and Networking

We’re doing a Social Media & Networking project at work. The aim of the project is to develop a ‘toolkit’ for staff. I found this online database of social media policies a starter for 10 – no point re-inventing the wheel.

Community Engagement

I recently started a project where we’ll be using social media to engage communities and improve community cohesion. For general guidance on engagement I found Engagement first five, the IDeA’s Practical ways to engage with your communities, Customer focus and community engagement and the older (but still useful) guide by David Wilcox The A-Z of effective participation. There is also lots of useful guidance on People and Participation

The community cohesion impact assessment and community conflict prevention tool has some pointers for planning and implementing a project which aims to improve community cohesion.

I read a couple of thought provoking blog posts by Dave Briggs and Tim Davies on the representativeness (or otherwise) of online engagement, which reminded me of a post I wrote a couple of months back about evaluating online engagement.

User research and design

I’ve also started up a project to improve customer experience on our corporate web site. We’re doing some remote testing with Loop11. I also thought the Five Second Test could be useful when we do the re-design. There’s nothing like an immediate customer response to make you feel humble ;D

I’m used to doing paper prototyping and using Visio, Dreamweaver and Powerpoint to mock up more interactive, hi-fi prototypes. I’ve not used any tools designed specifically for creating prototypes, but came across this great post on prototyping tools which opened my eyes to some alternatives.

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