Itturat. Ituratte. Iterat. Iterate. Iterate.
Iteration is the key to a successful design. Start small and make incremental improvements. Why? Good question. Photo by Roman Hinex on Unsplash A high school ceramics teacher wanted to do an experiment. At the beginning of the school year, he divided his class into two groups. Group A had one objective: make the perfect pot. They only had to make one pot the entire school year, but it better be flawless to get an A. Group B had a different objective: make as many pots as possible. They were graded on weight. If they made 50 lbs of pots, they got an A, 40 lbs a B, and so on. At the end of the school year, the ceramics teacher had astonishing results. The best pots came from group B. Why? Iteration. Group B made pots over and over and over again, learning from their mistakes. They got noticeably better every time they made a new one. Group A on the other hand, spent so much time focusing on making their one pot perfect, that they didn’t learn the tricks to making it right. I heard this story from Mike Cohn a couple years ago, and it really stuck with me. It’s a profound story on the value of iteration. This is a life lesson that could apply to anything, but we are here to talk about how it relates to software. When it comes to design, it’s easy to get carried away with all the bells and whistles. “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” and “I bet users would like…” are traps that lead you down a road you don’t want to go down. Photo by Juan Rumimpunu on Unsplash User centered design is all the rage right now, as it should be. Software should be about the end user experience. I don’t want to use a website because the back end is written really well. That’s nice, but it’s not going to bring me back over and over again. You know what’s nice? A new feature waiting for me when I log on in the morning. I’ve been able to get my work done fine until now, but with this new feature, it’s even easier. I’m delighted. Your first design should solve the business problem. No more, no less. Get something in front of your user base as quickly as possible. The most valuable thing in your arsenal is user feedback. Without it, you’re assuming what the user wants. And you know what happens when you assume. Design what you need in order to solve the business problem. Build it. Get user feedback. Enhance the software. Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash Being iterative does not mean that you shouldn’t have a vision. I wouldn’t expect you to build a piece of software with no expectation as to where it was going. Don’t design something without a plan. What has works well for me when starting a new project is to begin with an idea of the finished product. Get the ideas out and work backward. All roads lead to Rome. You just have to choose which road to take. Your vision is Rome. » Read More
Like to keep reading?
This article first appeared on uxdesign.cc. If you'd like to keep reading, follow the white rabbit.