Initial engagement: question

25 Feb 2009 - 3:54pm
5 years ago
5 replies
195 reads
oliver green
2006

Hi All,

Frequently, various departments from my firm will ask me to "fix"
their UI. They show me what they have implemented and what they can do
to improve it. This is a new experience for me. What questions should
I be asking in these initial engagement? what should I be wary of?

Thanks,
Oliver

Comments

25 Feb 2009 - 4:03pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Break the requests into two parts, the evaluations and then the re-design
(or fix as you stated it). Let them know the extent of the evaluation and
recommendation effort up front. Then, when you report back, weight the
importance and include a scope of effort for the various items. If they buy
into this process, then you have at least half a chance of not only helping
them, but coming away with a good product that you can be proud of.
Mark

On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 3:54 PM, oliver green <oliverhci at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> Frequently, various departments from my firm will ask me to "fix"
> their UI. They show me what they have implemented and what they can do
> to improve it. This is a new experience for me. What questions should
> I be asking in these initial engagement? what should I be wary of?
>
> Thanks,
> Oliver
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

25 Feb 2009 - 4:28pm
Amy Silvers
2007

Even before that, I'd ask some basic questions to clarify the
objectives for the UI (e.g. who is the audience, what tasks are users
there to complete, how are they measuring the success of the UI, etc.)
and determine why they think it needs fixing.

As for what to be wary of, I've often had clients say "we want our
site to be more like (insert name of site for a totally different
product/audience)," without being able to say why. Similarly, they'll
say "it has to have a blog/widget/cool Web 2.0 thing" without having
any good reason that the site *has* to have any such features. Be
prepared to help them think through their objectives and how they
align with the users' goals.

2009/2/25 mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com>:
> Break the requests into two parts, the evaluations and then the re-design
> (or fix as you stated it). Let them know the extent of the evaluation and
> recommendation effort up front. Then, when you report back, weight the
> importance and include a scope of effort for the various items. If they buy
> into this process, then you have at least half a chance of not only helping
> them, but coming away with a good product that you can be proud of.
> Mark
>
> On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 3:54 PM, oliver green <oliverhci at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Hi All,
>>
>> Frequently, various departments from my firm will ask me to "fix"
>> their UI. They show me what they have implemented and what they can do
>> to improve it. This is a new experience for me. What questions should
>> I be asking in these initial engagement? what should I be wary of?
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Oliver
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

26 Feb 2009 - 2:49am
robenslin
2008

Hi Oliver,

I'm making the assumption the UI is 'live'. I think a great starting
point is to enter into discussion harvesting opinions and views so you
can better understand the bigger picture. Here are a few suggestions
for starters:

1. Why is the UI 'broken' in their opinion? (sometimes it's not a UI
issue, but rather a political/office/personal one and UI changes seems
to be an easy way out)
2. What's the purpose of the UI (website) from a business perspective?
(this might give you a clue as to what the core issue/s is/are e.g.
visual aesthetics, ia hierachy, message etc)
3. Undertaking some background analytical research yourself is very
useful - run some reporting and establish whether problem-patterns
occur? (facts speak for themselves & tells it like it is)

Best,

-- Rob

// Rob Enslin

On 25 Feb 2009, at 20:54, oliver green <oliverhci at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> Frequently, various departments from my firm will ask me to "fix"
> their UI. They show me what they have implemented and what they can do
> to improve it. This is a new experience for me. What questions should
> I be asking in these initial engagement? what should I be wary of?
>
> Thanks,
> Oliver
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

26 Feb 2009 - 3:01am
Jarod Tang
2007

How he use it? The movtivation? Context?

Enjoy.
--jarod

On 2/26/09, oliver green <oliverhci at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi All,
>
> Frequently, various departments from my firm will ask me to "fix"
> their UI. They show me what they have implemented and what they can do
> to improve it. This is a new experience for me. What questions should
> I be asking in these initial engagement? what should I be wary of?
>
> Thanks,
> Oliver
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Sent from my mobile device

http://designforuse.blogspot.com/

26 Feb 2009 - 4:10am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 25 Feb 2009, at 20:54, oliver green wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> Frequently, various departments from my firm will ask me to "fix"
> their UI. They show me what they have implemented and what they can do
> to improve it. This is a new experience for me. What questions should
> I be asking in these initial engagement? what should I be wary of?

The thing to be wary of is that you're in, as far as I'm concerned,
the worst possible position when it comes to getting things fixed -
right at the end of the process. Like testing, design is something
that needs to be done as early as possible - and if possible all of
the time.

Of course you need to help improve the product - and other folk have
already given some excellent suggestions. Getting a good grip on what
the user goals are, and doing some usability testing to identify key
problem areas would be what I'd do as a first step.

However - as well as that - I'd be working on getting involvement
earlier in the process. You want to be working with the development
group so that problems can be spotted and fixed before they get
released. You want to be working with the product owner so that it's
more likely that they develop a product that the user actually needs
in the first place.

You want to be stopping problems getting into the product, and being
involved in the development process so you can get problems fixed
during the tight-feedback loops of development - rather than the long
feedback loops of product release. Otherwise you're always going to be
fighting fires rather than designing products :-/

Cheers,

Adrian

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