Expectactions – obstacles on the way of the project
We need to unlearn ourselves and wean clients from the obstacle that the expected results bring to projects. Outdated habits must be abandoned. This is easier said than done, so let’s start storming the problem. Below I will share with you the methods used to change the way people think about the mobile web; if you have other or differing methods, let’s hear about them too. How do you get yourself and your clients to discard the conceptual models they tend to?
Effective rational motive (for the time)
Start by creating an exciting business case for a more responsive approach to the web. Bombard stakeholders with mobile statistics, research and real-world use cases. If they seem to be hooked on creating mini-websites with randomly selected content, then discuss screen fragmentation. Pay special attention to the “dark” area between large smartphones and small “tablets”. Ask them to determine at what screen size the interface should turn on and remove content from the user’s reach. If you are able to create a reliably prepared case, then you should have a full room of people who have recovered and amenable to a new approach.
The rational arguments for responsive design will take you this far because:
- You ask others to reject the familiar system that they are familiar with and feel comfortable with;
- The concept remains abstract, creating a gap between theory and reality.
If the client is unable to imagine how their websites will adapt to a variety of screen sizes, then it will be difficult for them to decide on this approach. Due to uncertainty, people will again turn to proven traditions.
If you want to lead clients to new ways of thinking, joint sketches can help define the way.
Use sketches as a kind of exorcism
The expected design results are formed the moment team members begin to imagine the project. As planning and discussion take place, the mental images taking shape become clearer. A situation may arise where you find yourself designing what is on the client’s mind instead of designing for the project’s purpose and user needs. To get people to accept new ideas, you need to banish old ones. This is where sketching comes in. We often think of sketches as a way of generating and sharing ideas, but they can also be called weapons of destruction. The purpose of sketching here is not to produce drawings that convey the final design. We do not replace the UX process. The goal is to remove stubborn, ossified ideas and make room for new ones.
Work plan creation
The steps outlined below reflect the current process. While each is valuable individually, consider how they will work together along the way to guide the group’s thinking. Try to constantly approach the design from different angles, alternating between techniques that require the group to focus (convergent thinking) and require them to explore (divergent thinking). Conflicting ideas may arise as you progress. Take advantage of these points of disagreement, as they can be the key to breaking stubborn speculative models.
The current workflow for our concept is as follows:
- Set, define goals. Prioritize work goals. Establish rules and criteria against which ideas will be discussed and evaluated.
- Sketch the wireframe for the comic. Set content that exists outside of the screen. Give people an area in which to model.
- Mobile-first. Ask the group to focus on the information hierarchy and the user’s goals. Pull small-screen ideas out of your mind (especially those heavy, application-centered ones) and put them on paper.
- 6-up templates. Enter conflict. Surely there is a discrepancy between what the group has just drawn for mobile and what it presented for the desktop website – investigate that discrepancy. Squeeze as many ideas out of the minds of the participants as possible.
- Outline concept. Work together to rebuild ideas into new designs that work regardless of screen size or device.