Design --> Development pipeline/tools?

31 Aug 2009 - 1:54pm
5 years ago
3 replies
1296 reads
Billie Mandel
2005

Hey folks -

What's your company's process/pipeline/set of tools for delivering
and communicating designs (and associated visual design assets) to
your dev team?

*[Addressed particularly to "innies" in software development orgs
though anyone's insights much appreciated]*

TO be clear: I'm NOT asking the "Visio vs Illustrator vs Fireworks
etc" conversation. I'm asking what happens *after* the design team
has determined (at least a first cut of) both how the app should
work, and how it should look. Do you have a tool or process that
tells the developers which UI patterns/controls to use, where to
place the art, how much velocity/decay there should be on animated
transitions or gestural effects? Are they coding these things
manually based on design team deliverables (wireframes/animated
sequences)? Do you have a tool that you use in which designers can
actually create the apps' front ends?

I ask because I'm doing a bit of an audit of our processes, trying
to streamline things and get more efficient. I'm trying to get a
feel for the "state of the art" in UI development processes -- need
to assess how behind/ahead my company is so I can decide how hard I
need to push my "process innovation" agenda.

Cheers
- Billie

PS - [waving hello] Haven't posted in ages - been a bit 'heads
down' over here. Hope everyone's having a fab summer!

*******
Billie Mandel
Director, User Experience
Myriad Group AG
www.myriadgroup.com

Comments

31 Aug 2009 - 2:59pm
david.shaw6@gma...
2004

Hi Billie,

Great question, and one that I'm sure you'll get lots of answers to. In the
case of where I work (which happens to be not only a software development
innie, but also hardware that's integrated with the software) we're actually
trying to change the process from what it has been to a much more
streamlined and integrated process.

Let me give you some history. My company, or division, is really a start-up
within a very large corporation. Our new business is pretty far outside of
the core business, hence my referring to it as a start-up. We're even in a
totally different building than any of the other business units. The core
business is technology, thus it's an engineering driven company. Originally
sw engineering did all the work and only came to the "design" group when it
wanted to know how something should behave, the color of something, or even
the label of a button. Even if the design group provided wireframes, flows,
and even layouts, they tended to be an afterthought with the product. Over
the last year and a half our team has had success in changing this culture
to provide some design services up front. Now, at least to some point, the
engineering team gets these typical design deliverables before building of
the sw begins. Now it's not perfect, but it's much cleaner and less thrash
than happened long ago (especially since the timelines to deliver the
product are very short, and there's an exisiting code base they work off
of).

The next phase, the one I'm trying to influence, is integrating us into the
development cycles by not only providing 90% of the upfront product design,
but also being able to integrate with the software development. In this
case I mean a process that separates the UI from the business logic layers.
Since we're a .NET shop, my team is coming up to speed on using
Silverlight. What this will allow us to do is to create all the behaviors
and look and feel of the product, while at the same time, the sw team can
implement all the business logic and back end services. So, we can not only
design, but influence the product design by having control of the
look/feel/behavior. It's not something we "hand-off", but are integrated
into to make sure that our designs make it through all the way to the
production product. It's been an interesting change, and I have to say that
both my team and the sw team is excited about working this way. It's
basically a win-win. SW gets control over the development and doesn't have
to spend time on UI type changes, and we can ensure that our design stays
intact (for the most part) all the way to the end.

Hope that helps answer a little bit of your question.

Cheers!
David

On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 5:54 AM, Billie Mandel <billie.mandel at purplelabs.com
> wrote:

> Hey folks -
>
> What's your company's process/pipeline/set of tools for delivering
> and communicating designs (and associated visual design assets) to
> your dev team?
>
> *[Addressed particularly to "innies" in software development orgs
> though anyone's insights much appreciated]*
>
> TO be clear: I'm NOT asking the "Visio vs Illustrator vs Fireworks
> etc" conversation. I'm asking what happens *after* the design team
> has determined (at least a first cut of) both how the app should
> work, and how it should look. Do you have a tool or process that
> tells the developers which UI patterns/controls to use, where to
> place the art, how much velocity/decay there should be on animated
> transitions or gestural effects? Are they coding these things
> manually based on design team deliverables (wireframes/animated
> sequences)? Do you have a tool that you use in which designers can
> actually create the apps' front ends?
>
> I ask because I'm doing a bit of an audit of our processes, trying
> to streamline things and get more efficient. I'm trying to get a
> feel for the "state of the art" in UI development processes -- need
> to assess how behind/ahead my company is so I can decide how hard I
> need to push my "process innovation" agenda.
>
> Cheers
> - Billie
>
> PS - [waving hello] Haven't posted in ages - been a bit 'heads
> down' over here. Hope everyone's having a fab summer!
>
> *******
> Billie Mandel
> Director, User Experience
> Myriad Group AG
> www.myriadgroup.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
>

--
"Making peoples lives easier daily... since 1969"

w: http://weatherdude.wordpress.com

31 Aug 2009 - 2:18pm
Carl Ververs
2009

Have you looked at Mingle?
http://studios.thoughtworks.com/mingle-agile-project-management

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=45219

1 Sep 2009 - 8:42am
Michael Micheletti
2006

Hi Billie,

In the project I'm working on now, I made a special effort to document the
important parts of our design and leave many details out of the
specifications. I added a disclaimer in all the documents that the specs
were like a jazz chart, that some improvisation was expected and encouraged,
and the specs would not be updated afterwards. No time (this is the 10th day
of my current work week, which I think may end sometime in October).

The other important part of this jazz performance thing is that I'm one of
the improvisers. I'm in every team meeting. I'm actively in the code styling
and setting dim timers on indicator lights. I drew all the production art,
and redraw a good deal of it once I see it in action. I refactor control
templates and debug events. We're a small tight dev team and our boundaries
are pretty fuzzy. And we're all ok with that.

This sort of arrangement obviously wouldn't work in a large formal
organization, or when you need to send work overseas, or when the team is
inexperienced, or or or... But it's working for us. I think of it as the
sort of structure you want to get to when three or four really good people
who work well together are all turned loose to do great stuff. Hope this
helps,

Michael Micheletti

On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 5:54 AM, Billie Mandel <billie.mandel at purplelabs.com
> wrote:

> Hey folks -
>
> What's your company's process/pipeline/set of tools for delivering
> and communicating designs (and associated visual design assets) to
> your dev team?
>
> *[Addressed particularly to "innies" in software development orgs
> though anyone's insights much appreciated]*
>
> TO be clear: I'm NOT asking the "Visio vs Illustrator vs Fireworks
> etc" conversation. I'm asking what happens *after* the design team
> has determined (at least a first cut of) both how the app should
> work, and how it should look. Do you have a tool or process that
> tells the developers which UI patterns/controls to use, where to
> place the art, how much velocity/decay there should be on animated
> transitions or gestural effects? Are they coding these things
> manually based on design team deliverables (wireframes/animated
> sequences)? Do you have a tool that you use in which designers can
> actually create the apps' front ends?
>
> I ask because I'm doing a bit of an audit of our processes, trying
> to streamline things and get more efficient. I'm trying to get a
> feel for the "state of the art" in UI development processes -- need
> to assess how behind/ahead my company is so I can decide how hard I
> need to push my "process innovation" agenda.
>
> Cheers
> - Billie
>
> PS - [waving hello] Haven't posted in ages - been a bit 'heads
> down' over here. Hope everyone's having a fab summer!
>
> *******
> Billie Mandel
> Director, User Experience
> Myriad Group AG
> www.myriadgroup.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
>

--
Michael Micheletti
michael.micheletti at gmail.com

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