Surviving The Software Development Process

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Surviving the Software Development Process. Collin ColeSenior Vice President, frog design

Surviving the Software Development Process. Collin ColeSenior Vice President, frog design

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  • 1. Collin Cole Senior Vice President, frog design Austin TX collin.cole@frogdesign.com Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 1
  • 2. frog is a strategic-creative consulting firm. We bring a unique combination of strategic and creative talent to help companies evolve, expand, and envision their business. Our rigorous yet unorthodox approach yields breakthrough innovation and a sustainable competitive edge. Palo Alto San Jose San Francisco Seattle Austin New York Stuttgart Milan Shanghai Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 2
  • 3. Surviving the Software Development Process How to deliver a great brand experience through better software design Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 3
  • 4. Two parts: 1. Why good software design is difficult 2. Five ways to survive the process and deliver a great design Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 4
  • 5. A couple of quick definitions “Software” = web, embedded, mobile, desktop applications “Designers” = agencies, contractors, internal corporate groups Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 5
  • 6. Software is a vital element of your brand identity. Software is your customer’s daily interaction with your brand. Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 6
  • 7. Think of the care that goes into the consistent delivery of your brand. Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 7
  • 8. Why isn’t it the same with your company’s software? Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 8
  • 9. The software landscape is overwhelming. Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 9
  • 10. Software is complex. Applications entertainment, information, productivity Device Connectivity policies, permissions, protocols Devices home, mobile, business, entertainment Services, Servers & Data content, contacts, media, commerce Networks fixed, wireless, satellite Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 10
  • 11. The process is hard. Tools are difficult (they’re getting better) Traditional roles inhibit collaboration The traditional, sequential process has gaps. Crossing each gap requires translation and interpretation MARCOM/STRATEGY ? DESIGN ? DEVELOPMENT 0100110100 01001 1101010001 0010111011 Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 11
  • 12. But mostly, it’s because your design is left in the hands of others with very different priorities. Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 12
  • 13. How we’ve adapted at frog design. Focused our tech efforts on UI/UX Increased the designer:developer ratio to about 4:1 Created a “design technologist” position : a design-minded, UI-focused developer, and added other complementary roles Invested in new design & development tools Updated our process to be more collaborative and iterative Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 13
  • 14. Case Study: How we’ve adapted at frog BEST IN SHOW AWARD Best Business/Productivity Application, People’s Choice Award Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 14
  • 15. Collaborative and concurrent design and development How we’ve adapted at frog January December Strategy & Design Development PROJ 1 PROJECT 2 PROJECT 3 Discovery Proof of concept Full product design and prototype (on handset) development, testing, launch First idea to final product (tested, on the market) in less than 12 months Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 15
  • 16. SURVIVING THE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS five ways to keep your brand in one piece Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 16
  • 17. 1. Own the user experience. Ensuring a quality implementation is YOUR responsibility. Expand your skills; stretch and grow. If you don’t have developers, hire them. Deliver what you can; simulations, key templates, reference implementations. Old-style design specifications just don’t work. Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 17
  • 18. Major League Baseball Microsoft Silverlight Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 18
  • 19. Lawson M3 Smart Client 4 month Design-UI Development cycle Microsoft .NET3/WPF Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 19
  • 20. Designers are designing while developers have already started. DESIGN PHASE DEVELOPMENT design research, information architecture, wireframes,  workflows, interaction design, visual design, flash demos,  usability testing, internal presentations, design  Design documentation…  Specification * Rate of increase is proportional  Project to the number of executives involved Brief TIME… Development Reality functional requirements and feature lists, team assignments  and scheduling, systems architecture, platform development,  proof‐of‐concept prototyping… (they’ve already started!)  Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 20
  • 21. 2. Start building something. Drastically shorten the first design step. Rough out a wireframe and start prototyping. Get out of Photoshop/Illustrator/Visio. Prototype as a process. What you build serves to communicate between all groups and continually resets expectations. Prototype as a specification. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth a thousand pages of pretty documentation. Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 21
  • 22. Yahoo! Messenger Microsoft .NET3/WPF 2 designers, 2 developers 6 months Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 22
  • 23. 3. Everyone is a designer. Build a team of technically-minded designers and design-aware developers. Encourage a collaborative and concurrent design-develop process. Get the design and development teams talking and working together, from the beginning. Take advantage of the uniquely different perspectives on the team. Good ideas can come from anywhere. Developers are often in the best position to recognize improvements in interaction design. Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 23
  • 24. Fox Sports Microsoft Media Center application Silverlight/MCML Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 24
  • 25. 4. You’re not finished until it ships. Stay involved during implementation to provide design oversight for the inevitable surprises, compromises, and on-the-spot fixes. Remember, the quality of the final product is YOUR responsibility. No finger pointing allowed when it’s done. Schedule time for Design QA or “fit & finish” polishing. Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 25
  • 26. Disney Software Suite “old school” C programming Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 26
  • 27. 5. Build a system, not just screens. Create a software DNA for your brand (personality, voice, visual components, interactions) Think modularly. Design for reuse and built-in consistency, even across different media, platforms, and devices. Make doing the right thing the easiest choice. Deliver your design documentation in a format that is easily accessed and used by engineers. Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 27
  • 28. Online design specifications with design rules, copy & paste code snippets, and interactive, functional examples Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 28
  • 29. HP’s elegant Photosmart identity spans platforms and devices. Collin Cole, SVP © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary. 2/17/2008 29
  • 30. © 2008 frog design. Confidential & Proprietary.