The company I work for is a very lean, fast moving company, and we're
constantly looking for ways to tighten our product life cycle timelines.
One thing we've noticed in the last few months is that IxDA (and general
design practitioners) have been extremely valuable not just during the
design phase of a product, but also during the ongoing Quality Assurance
/ Quality Control phases as well as the final Quality Acceptance phases
of the product lifecycle.
This being the case, we're experimenting with the idea of putting IxDA
people in charge (or in review positions within) the QA process. I've
been playing around with this model myself on a couple of projects with
very strong results. The net benefit seems to derive from the fact that
there is really no one better to certify that a product meets QA
requirements than the very people that identified the necessary
interactions, UI results, and full design elements to begin with.
So far, this also seems to fit in nicely with the fact that our design
team tends to be very busy at the start of the project (front loading
interaction design and then visual design) and then gets much less busy
as the development cycle begins and ends. It seems a really good use of
our time to swoop back in after the design phase and act as part of the
QA process, making sure that developers are conforming to our
specifications via a formal testing structure.
I was wondering if anyone else has had experience with this kind of
structure, and if so, what challenges, results, and tips can you share?
We're sort of excited about the idea on our end, as our initial forays
into this model have really helped projects move along faster and with
better results. Being a small/midsized team, we don't have a large QA
department, so this allocation of resources seems to fill a lot of gaps.