“Creating an interface is much like building a house: If you don’t get the foundations right, no amount of decorating can fix the resulting structure.”
— Jef Raskin
I believe that there isn’t a particular method that rules them all. Letting teams self organize in a manner that they feel best is what’s best for the success of the team and the project. Everyone on the team provides value and everyone should feel valued.
Regardless of which method – Agile, Waterfall, KanBan etc., there are tried and true phases for a successful projects lifecycle.
This groundwork is step one in the product design and development process. The goal is to define the idea, understand the business goals and the needs of the users. Conducting stakeholder interviews, journey mapping, outlining technical and business requirements, doing a competitor analysis and/or running a technology audit. Once the problem has been identified and who the users are, prototyping ideas and testing assumptions can begin.
Based on all the risks identified and assumptions made during the Research & Discovery phase the best way to efficiently test ideas and validate assumptions is by concepting, or prototyping. Whiteboards, user mapping, data flows, Post-Its, sketches and more sketches, and various visual fidelity interactive prototypes to test and gain feedback.
Design and development teams have to collaborate to build a product with great functionality and user experience. Prioritizing features in a product roadmap and mapping the various sprints with all the stakeholders makes everyone’s job flow more fluidly as each sprint is identified. Subscribing to the iterative build, test, review process enables a team to incorporate user feedback often. With this feedback loop the most critical features can be prioritized or pivoted.
Everyone has a hand in this phase as no project is ever perfect right out of the gate. All stakeholders need to be active and participatory.
Having the correct instrumentation allows everyone to track and monitor the release of the project. The data collected is invaluable to all the stakeholders. Making sure that the metrics are collected will provide keen insight to the next phases of the projects lifecycle. Early in the design and build phase, instrumentation needs should be included in the sprints just like any other functionality or feature.