At the point when you decided not only that you wanted to be in technology, but that you also wanted to be in the design and development fields, you probably saw only the chance for intellectual accomplishment, and great creative flexibility. It sounds like a fantastic job that lets you be a real artist and a real creator. But, you didn’t count on the annoyances of concept development and testing.
As someone who’s worked in this field myself, I can vouch for concept development and testing being some of the far less pleasant parts of the design process in a lot of cases.
It’s easy to just think of development as coming up with a concept, programming or designing it, implementing the user experience aspects such as UI and navigation, and then grinning and bearing the tedium of the testing for refining a final release candidate both in usability and functionality.
Well, it’s not quite that simple. During the act of creating, refining and delivering a solution, you’re going to find a solid two thirds of your time is eaten up by development and testing along the way.
This sucks, but it’s the case. So, let’s take a look at some tips for making this the least bit annoying.
First of all, when you first have a concept for a solution, before any code is written or any interfaces are even prototyped, be sure to make an experience map that shows what the design does, and how it should theoretically interact with the users.
When you’ve got this map, be sure to have several people of varying mindsets look over the idea, and to provide input. This will help bring in ideas you might otherwise have to implement in a more complex way later, as well as cut off ideas you don’t need, before they can waste time and resources.
Now, once the core engine of the design (code if it’s software) is built, and you’re ready to attach an interface to everything, be sure to paper prototype the idea, as well as using mockups and other tools, following the same kinds of testing of involving people to provide input.
Along with this, use have them work through exercises playing the roles of users, and work out how well the current layout and navigation patterns would jive with these users.
Finally, when you’ve got alphas, betas and release candidates, well, you already expect to have to test the heck out of these, right? Well, be sure to use multiple testing approaches, not just long term “playtesting” as it’s often called.
Get groups together, give them specific tasks that test, in parallel, all the aspects of a design from aesthetics and efficiency to more heuristic concerns as well. This way, all the bases are covered, and you can get the most thorough analysis and quality assurance possible in finite available time.
So, concept development and testing is something you’ll have to contend with for the entirety of your project. You may as well accept this. I know it’s a pain, but it’s an absolute necessity. If you adhere to the advice in here, then it won’t be nearly as bad, trust me.