This cartoon illustrates the challenges of gathering and communicating requirements in a project. UX design is a constant battle against inconsistency, where essential insights must be parceled so everyone interprets the true meaning in cross functional teams. In other words, it's our mission as designers to make sure that the "swing" looks just like the users desire. But how to avoid bad requirements gathering?
1. Be empathetic and search for deeper understanding about the users. One misunderstanding in the research phase can lead to crucial design failures later. For example: conduct interviews, observations or contextual studies.
2. Unfortunately understanding the users is not enough, make sure to communicate the insights in a format that is consistent through the complete design process. For example: create personas, mental models, customer journey maps or functional specifications.
3. Never expect the first design to win, test it against the users and make sure to identify what they really want. For example: do A/B testing, task based user tests or guerilla usability testing.
4. Iterate! Adjust the requirements according to user feedback and deliver evolved design suggestions until satisfaction is reached.
5. Hopefully the "swing" will look pretty similar for all project phases, and most important, whoever is using the "swing" will actually enjoy it.
If you watched "Madagascar 2" you already know what this article is about. The broken telephone game is realized by a line of people whispering something in one direction to its neighbour. The message is often modified when it reaches the end of the line, just like the commands a link of monkeys is trying to deliver from Alex to the penguins in the cartoon I mentioned. To clarify the parallel to UX the point is that requirements way too often travels like a message in the broken telephone game, from users to business analysts to designers to developers etc. /Hans
I couldn't agree more. Well aimed design is built upon genuine requirements, and between the users and our solutions there is a challenge to transform needs into digital experiences. As a facilitator you know how to master this challenge, direct sessions, identify problems and understand what users truly wants
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