January 21st, 2009
You may know of Jason Fried and the folks at 37Signals, makers of the Basecamp project-management application, the Highrise contact-management application, and other successful web-based products. Jason spoke at last year’s Web App Summit, his basic philosophy is to focus primarily on designs he wants to use. When he builds something he wants to use, he figures there are enough people out there just like him, who will want to use it to.
During his session, Jason walked us through his thought process for several interesting design elements. He talked about the initial approaches, the problems they were trying to solve, and the path his thinking took to get to the final result. It was clear, from listening to him, that the design of these products isn’t accidental. It’s very deliberate and considered, relying on Jason’s (and the rest of his team’s) expertise and experience.
Jason admits they do very little user testing or field research. They don’t create personas to help validate their idea. Instead, they rely on the information they already have and their detail-oriented
approach to making the thousands of design decisions that go into every project.
Does this mean that every team could succeed without the traditional research techniques, relying on their own expertise and experience? That’s a question we’ve been researching for a few years now and finally have an answer: It depends.
In today’s UIEtips, “5 Design Decision Styles. What’s Yours?” I’ll walk you through the five different styles we’ve found teams use to make design decisions. I’ve outlined what each style is, the effort it takes, and how to decide when that style will work for your team.
Understanding how your team makes design decisions is critical. That’s why we’ve included it as just one piece of our new full-day Roadshow, Secrets Behind Designing Great User Experiences. This event brings together more than ten years of research into great design management. If you found today’s article interesting, you certainly want to attend one of the Roadshow workshops.
What design decision styles does your team employ? How do you decide which ones to use for any given project? Let us know your experiences below.Tweet