Designing 3 Sprints Ahead for Improved User Experience
Luke Wroblewski, an internationally recognized digital product leader, stated, “Design that does not serve people does not serve business.” As the bar for great user experience continues to rise, so must our processes. Software and web products that can’t deliver the experiences that end users expect will not succeed.
Raising the bar for great user experience
Praxent’s design process starts with a deep dive into our partners’ business goals and users’ needs. Our UX design team then creates a solution that addresses these through specific deliverables such as wireframes, sketches, prototypes, etc.
This is the part of our design process that receives the most attention. It’s the initial design phase, and it’s exciting because we’re beginning to solve challenging problems. But in order to build transformative software, design presence in the mid and late stages of a project is just as important as it is in the beginning.
So, how do we incorporate a user-focused design presence throughout the project? Enter our concept: 3SA.
How 3SA works
“Three Sprints Ahead” or “3SA” is a process we invented to give user experience design direction to our development team at least one month before they start working on a particular feature.
By applying this design direction to features that have yet to be built, we ensure that the same critical eye continuously impacts the project, filtering features through the lens of user empathy. The result is: better software that’s performant and complex on the back end and intuitive and striking on the front end.
>> Sprints play an important role in agile software development. Find out how they help us put you in command.
3SA is designed to accomplish Luke Wroblewski’s principle stated at the beginning of this article. It allows us to always have a detailed eye focused on simplicity, consistency, quality, and value for excellent user experience.
How designing three sprints ahead affects your developer team
Ultimately, 3SA equips developers to create better software. But it has great effects on morale, too!
We’ve asked, and our developers love being able to see how a feature should look: where the button is, how big the input box is, what font size the caption should be, what color background the designer envisioned, etc.
Developers don’t tend to be abstract thinkers. Instead, they appreciate definition and clarity. Making user experience design decisions on the fly is a lot to ask of them. Praxent developers enjoy the 3SA process that provides direction ahead of time. Happy developers equal better software.
Seamless cooperation between developers and designers achieves greater business value
Some design teams can get carried away with the creative aspects of a project. But a great design team knows that it is equally as important to be pragmatic. That’s why the top notch development and design teams are those that work together seamlessly to determine which software features (and the design requirements those features introduce) provide the most business value.
When meeting with a software company to discuss building your new idea, it’s important to ask them about their design process: How do they handle the inevitable changes and edge cases in software development? How do they design interfaces that move the needle for your business and its end users?
Give our team a call, we’re happy to share more of our process with you or just jump into the details of your project.
If you are actively seeking a software solution to deal with a problem or expand on an idea, schedule a free consultation with our design team and we will walk you through the process personally.
If your company is struggling to manage data, you could be reaching an opportune turning point in the life of your business, and not even realize it. Check out our free webinar, “Nail Your Platform Design.” We’ll help you connect the dots between your current organizational challenges and the opportunities they present for transitioning to a hyper-scalable platform model.