Understanding the core principle of why you are doing something is often more important than what you are doing.
This is never so true than for product development, be it a service, software or a physical product.
Often when we design and develop things we get so intensely caught up in the moment that we forget to stop and consider the bigger picture.
In so many of our projects, every single day we waste a lot of the resources that we could otherwise be redirecting to more productive pursuits within the project.
Really it is simple to overcome this, when we are doing anything for a project we should consider:
“Is it of benefit to the customer.”
Yes every aspect, from documentation, to techniques themselves. Think about it.
- The 100 page analysis report – is that a benefit to the customer?
- The 70 page detailed test plan – is that a benefit to the customer?
- The highly detailed failed wireframes – is that a benefit to the customer?
- The 250 page detailed requirements – is that a benefit to the customer?
If the answer is anything but a solid “Yes”, if it’s in anyway ambiguous then it’s being done wrong.
Often we just fail, over documenting as we go, especially if we have to be seen to be busy. We are all guilty of it. I know I have done it too.
Stop the over documentation
Remember the point of the artefacts for any UX process is not in the artefact itself, but the thinking, questions or answers they raise when you have a collaborative discussions around the artefact or when you build it.
So in a way any UX artefacts, wireframes, user journeys, mental models, issue reports, should be presented as the minimal visual requirement to get the process done.
All communicative documentation, technique or processes should kept to a minimum unless it is of direction benefit to the customer.
Just questioning everything like this allows for the removal of some time leeching on a project’s resources.
Customer (user) centric design is more than just validation with the customer; it’s about complete empathic focus on the customer.