If you're looking to integrate usability in your digital design process, here's an article from 2011 that is well worth reading.
I enjoy analyzing user behavior, coming up with marketing strategies, and other creative endeavors. I enjoy it more than my clients enjoy it — but sometimes I fall into the trap of showing clients too much of these activities, instead of doing them (my core competency and passion) and pulling out the important takeaways in a quick summary for the client. Or better yet — just expressing the learnings in the final product.
Jeff Gothelf's Getting Out of the Deliverables Business article on Smashing Magazine makes this case, and in the process, describes "Lean UX" — an analog to Lean/Agile development technology. Check it out.
At Firecat, we're still working out the best mix of deliverables and activities, which the client needs to see and approve, and of course, these vary by project. Some things I've learned while trying to make Lean UX work:
- There's no substitute for prototypes and documentation when using distributed teams, overseas contractors, and so forth. But the client doesn't always need to see them.
- Clients used to a traditional design agency relationship are used to a waterfall approach, but can become fans if you involve them in fun, collaborative sessions.
- It's even more vital to have a budget for emerging ideas and different scope.
- User testing is so valuable. When clients can't afford it, do as much of it as you can, guerrilla style.
Which deliverables do you share with clients, and why?