Due to concerns of confidentiality, we didn’t conduct usability tests with prototypes.
It was a shame that my internship ended right after designing these two instances, before I could actually witnessing the template to be implemented on a broader base.
Most of my work during this 4-month internship is still under NDA, but looking backwards, there is still so much learning I can talk about!
It’s always so easy to lose track of the objective when buried in work. So I learned to remind myself by asking: Why am I doing this? Clarify the objective, then expected result, before thinking about what and how to do.
If the work is for my own reference, then where do I expect to be after this step? Which information should be kept to inform myself later?
If the work is to be viewed by other people, then what do they care about most? Which parts go beyond their existing knowledge? What output do they expect to generate based on the input I provide?
Similarly, when making requests to other people to get inputs for one’s own work, clarify why it’s needed, and what’s expected out of it.
I tried to be MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive).
To accomplish collective exhaustiveness, it’s important to go divergent at the beginning. Brainstorming should always aim for quantity, and use ideas to inspire more ideas. To get mutual exclusiveness, there should be some methodologies to organize alternatives into a structure, such as a tree.
A tree can be even more helpful when thinking upwards than downwards. When got stuck at some points, think about: what’s its essence at a higher level? What other alternatives can be derived from this essence?
Decide Among Alternatives
Design reasonable criteria for comparison. The most universal dimensions I use are:
Necessity: How much difference does it make?
Feasibility: How much does it cost?
Time & Scope
For plans: think big, think far. Find the ultimate objective by digging into the deepest level after asking many layers of “WHY”. Then aim for it as the final destination.
For implementation: do small, do quick. Take frequent pauses to reflect and iterate, and to make timely adjustments when going off the course.
The way I design is a design itself.
Explore different methodologies in approaching the problem.
Repeat the best methodology for similar problems.
Keep iterating the methodology to optimize it for various scenarios.
To some degree, a team is like a large program, and members are modules within the program: We all take inputs from others to generate our due outputs. It’s important to improve our process to turn inputs into outputs, while it’s even more important to avoid GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out).