SwordsweeperDesign We don’t have time for that

We don’t have time for that

As I designer it is my job to come up with experiences that will allow users to easily move from one task to the next with the least amount of discomfort. I try hard to think about how the user will expect a specific design to function and do what I can to watch and learn if my assumptions are correct. One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that when time and budgets are concerned it’s the speed to market that is the final decision maker.

I’ve spent weeks on a design to have it chopped down to what is possible in the time allotted for developers to build the application. There will be compromises in order to complete the minimum viable product and statements of what things we’ll save for a “v.2″ which never comes. While this is not ideal, it is typical because not all companies have the time needed to perfect their designs before they need to launch their product. So it becomes important to identify the most valuable parts of the design, the biggest payoff for the users, and make sure they are the first to be included.

Take the time to talk to the stakeholders, find out what is most important to them, what brings the most value to their business. Then compare that with what user’s see as the most valuable to them. Most of the time these things will be closely aligned but sometimes they are miles apart. Organize your notes by importance then review it with the stakeholders to validate your list. Once you know what brings the most value, focus on getting those things implemented in the first release because if v.2 never comes, at least you’ll have addressed the most important items.