How do you keep track of suggested changes to interaction designs?

18 Nov 2008 - 1:01pm
5 years ago
7 replies
1376 reads
Bjoern Hartmann
2008

In the process of building new design tools at Stanford, the following
question came up - and I'm hoping you could help me out by reporting your
personal experience:

How do you capture comments and suggestions for revisions to interaction
design prototypes?

There is no equivalent to Word's "track changes" in tools like Flash or
Dreamweaver - so what are your practices to record and share revision
suggestions? Write a text list of changes? Print out screens and mark them
up with Sharpies? Screen grab and annotate in Photoshop?

How well do those solutions work for you? Compared to the "track changes"
tools in Word, what's easier and harder to do?

Thanks,

Bjoern Hartmann
Human Computer Interaction Group
Stanford University

Comments

20 Nov 2008 - 8:16am
DrWex
2006

On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 1:01 PM, Bjoern Hartmann <bjoern at stanford.edu> wrote:
> How do you capture comments and suggestions for revisions to interaction
> design prototypes?

By hand. Usually suggestions for changes to prototypes come up in
some kind of review, whether it's a 1-1 or some kind of meeting.
Depending on the kind of change suggested either I jot a note directly
on a printout, or I write things down on some other paper. Nothing
else is as fast and accurate for me.

Afterward I usually create some kind of write-up summarizing the
suggested changes - often just a simple bulleted list - and provide
that back to the other participants. Usually that's just an email.
For myself I then tend to sketch on top of print-outs of the current
prototype, assuming it's a simple enough set of changes. If the
changes need to be more complex then I create a new sketch with the
change ideas incorporated.

In some rare cases I am showing a prototype in the tool I've used to
create it (Dreamweaver or Photoshop) I may make an on-the-fly change
in order to show it to the other people and say "is that what you
mean?" But in almost every case the tool is both too slow and
distracts me from interacting with the person giving the suggestions.

I do use Word and if people are remotely commenting on a document I've
written I find Track Changes to be a pretty good tool for that.

Hope that helps,
--Alan

20 Nov 2008 - 10:26am
Andreas Ringdal
2008

It is not a great solution, but we keep it all in our internal wiki
(Confluense).
Mostly it is just minor changes to existing product interfaces.
We keep one page for each change with comments below the main page.

When we have multiple versions of the same design, the original is
usually posted in the main page, and changes in the comments below.
Luckily Confluence supports threaded comments and autogenerates
thumbnails of the posted images.

As I said, it is not a great solution, but it is a functioning
solution.

Andreas

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20 Nov 2008 - 9:47pm
Jarod Tang
2007

or better, could use a issue tracker for this, :)

On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 11:26 PM, Andreas Ringdal <andreas at ringdal.no> wrote:
> It is not a great solution, but we keep it all in our internal wiki
> (Confluense).
> Mostly it is just minor changes to existing product interfaces.
> We keep one page for each change with comments below the main page.
>
> When we have multiple versions of the same design, the original is
> usually posted in the main page, and changes in the comments below.
> Luckily Confluence supports threaded comments and autogenerates
> thumbnails of the posted images.
>
> As I said, it is not a great solution, but it is a functioning
> solution.
>
> Andreas
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=35763
>
>
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20 Nov 2008 - 10:03am
brandon
2008

Have you seen Protonotes?

http://www.protonotes.com/

I haven't used them yet as I just discovered it the other day but
maybe this is something that could be useful.

I'd be curious what you end up finding works. Post back and let us
know.

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21 Nov 2008 - 2:57am
Kshitiz Anand
2008

In most of the teams I have worked in , it has been taking notes on
pen and paper during the feedback sessions. somehow taking notes on
comp does not work for me...
Also not all places have the facility to have meetings in front of
huge walls (which incidentally I love too) and / or record the
sessions. The interesting part is that the notes taking style for the
designer happens to be different than a technical person or manager.

Mostly the notes / comments are fed into the issue tracker, and
shared immediately after the meeting.
Keeping track of the different versions are also done using version
control softwares. So that could be one other option.

The space consuming method lastly is to keep changing the version
number and keep saving a new file every-time!

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21 Nov 2008 - 9:59am
Susie Robson
2004

The process I've used that was most successful was to track the
issues/changes in our bug tracking system. We tried various versions
of this where we tracked the issues/changes individually but that was
too much, screen by screen which worked out pretty well, or in one
instance, with everything in there. We also affinitized issues and
entered them that way which worked the best. We did this as a
team--the developers, Business Analysts, usability, stakeholders so
there was complete buy-in as to what needed changed and why.

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21 Nov 2008 - 4:29pm
brennste
2007

I print the screen and mark changes. As I make the changes I check
them off and add the date. I then print the new screen and staple it
to the old marked up copy. Repeat as necessary. In the end I have a
change history for each screen. If any changes affect requirements or
use cases we note those in Requisite Pro or Case Complete.

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