Fully Explore the Design Space: Patterns and tools for Whole Team Design Collaboration


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Mike Long, Thoughtworks

I will share what I have learned through my research with cross-functional teams (startups, enterprise, and in-between) on effective patterns for design collaboration. The group will learn about what people are doing to get cross-functional engagement in the design process when the design is continuous, sustained, and co-located, or remote. I would also like to do a quick fishbowl afterwards to hear what other people have experienced.

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Fully Explore the Design Space: Patterns and tools for Whole Team Design Collaboration

  1. 1. Fully Explore the Design Space @mblongii Patterns and Tools for Whole Team Design Collaboration
  2. 2. mingle @mblongii
  3. 3. “design space” = all the reasonable solutions. @mblongii
  4. 4. Think like a dandelion The way to get from a local maxima to the global maxima is to explore a lot of minima along the way. @mblongii
  5. 5. We asked 25 people “Can you tell me about the last time you collaborated with your team on a challenging design problem?” @mblongii
  6. 6. Hypothesis (verbose) Visual storytelling frames design opportunities in such a way that it promotes collaboration through lightweight artifacts and interdisciplinary methods. @mblongii
  7. 7. Hypothesis (terse) Visual storytelling is the most effective approach to iterative and incremental product design. @mblongii
  8. 8. Assumption 1 Co-located teams fully explore the design space through lightweight artifacts and interdisciplinary methods. @mblongii
  9. 9. Assumption 2 Distributed teams have difficulty collaborating through lightweight artifacts and interdisciplinary methods. @mblongii
  10. 10. Assumption 3 Distributed teams are unlikely to fully explore the design space. @mblongii
  11. 11. Does this team fully explore the design space through lightweight artifacts and interdisciplinary methods? 10 out of 25 do 10 out of 25 do not 5 out of 25 desire to do so @mblongii
  12. 12. Discovery 1 The person’s role has no significant impact on whether they collaborate with their team through lightweight artifacts or interdisciplinary methods. @mblongii
  13. 13. Discovery 2 Co-located vs. distributed has a significant impact on whether the team collaborates through lightweight artifacts or interdisciplinary methods. @mblongii
  14. 14. Discovery 3 Co-located teams do not inherently collaborate through lightweight artifacts or practice interdisciplinary methods. @mblongii
  15. 15. Discovery 4 Some co-located teams track the progress of their work against the “user journey” rather than focusing on work item status alone. @mblongii
  16. 16. Story #1339 Story #1336 Story #1328 @mblongii Story #1334
  17. 17. @mblongii
  18. 18. Earth-shattering discovery Teams with a sketching cadence often go directly from collaborative sketching to collaborative coding. @mblongii
  19. 19. Charrettes are an interdisciplinary method for knowledge transfer and idea generation. @mblongii
  20. 20. Charrette / “Design Studio” • • • Interdisciplinary knowledge transfer Generate many options Build upon ideas @mblongii
  21. 21. Storyboard / “User Journey” • • • Catalyzing artifact Visual storytelling Natural and familiar @mblongii
  22. 22. Sketchboard / “Affinity Map” 1. Capture sketches 2. Look for related 3. Sort into groups @mblongii
  23. 23. Close-at-hand communication tools people avoid for distributed design exploration Email @mblongii Phone / Voice Pivotal Tracker Jira “Rapid” Prototyping Tools
  24. 24. Close-at-hand communication tools people try for distributed design exploration Paper / Whiteboard 1 Smartphone Camera 2 Google Docs Trello 3 Basecamp @mblongii Hip Chat
  25. 25. Close-at-hand communication tools people prefer for distributed design exploration Google Hangouts Webex Webcam + Microphone + Screen Sharing Skype @mblongii GoTo Meeting
  26. 26. Synchronous vs. asynchronous communication tools Google Hangouts Google Docs Webex Trello Basecamp HipChat ? Skype @mblongii GoTo Meeting
  27. 27. Remote storyboarding experiment Melissa @mblongii Emily Suzanne
  28. 28. Hypotheses about what people expect • See other people's actions to remain engaged • A continuum between explorations • An ounce of nonsense and fun to stay engaged @mblongii
  29. 29. Hypotheses about what people expect • Immediate and timely feedback on their ideas • Input about the problem context • Act on the ideas in a meaningful way @mblongii
  30. 30. @mblongii
  31. 31. @mblongii
  32. 32. @mblongii
  33. 33. Discoveries • Brief initial discussion about problem context • Visibility into other people’s actions increases engagement, learning • Desire to work independently on storyboard sequence, then to present and give feedback @mblongii
  34. 34. Discoveries • Some people use storyboard as a sketchboard • Immediate system feedback expected while adding images • Improvisation in methods for adding images to the storyboards @mblongii
  35. 35. Earth-shattering discovery People blend their multiple devices to share their ideas whether colocated or distributed simultaneously and over time. @mblongii
  36. 36. Worth reading @mblongii
  37. 37. Thank you, Balanced Team! 😘 “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”―Phil Jackson @mblongii