form and behavior documentation

12 Dec 2006 - 2:38pm
7 years ago
14 replies
1776 reads
Valerie Gomez d...
2006

Hello IxDA-ers,
Anyone use a Form and Behavior spec in their workplace?
If so, do you have a doc you could share? Am just looking for the
content and format of the doc that would serve as a deliverable to the
Dev team.

Thanks!

Valerie

Comments

13 Dec 2006 - 9:35am
Peter Boersma
2003

Valerie asked:
> Anyone use a Form and Behavior spec in their workplace?

...and I wonder what the response (currently: <insert sound of crickets in background>) would have been if she'd used another name for the document she is looking for, something like "interaction design specification"? Because that's what it sounds like to me...

Peter
--
Peter Boersma | Senior Experience Designer | Info.nl
http://www.peterboersma.com/blog | http://www.info.nl

13 Dec 2006 - 12:18pm
Josh
2006

Valerie,
I've never heard the doc referred to as a "Form and Behavior" spec, but
alternative titles could be:

Interaction Design Spec (from Peter)
Information Architecture Doc
UX Specification
Wireframes, Comps or Mock-ups

I think there are as many examples of these documents as there are projects.
Even though a template can be very very helpful in getting a head start,
I've always found the best approach is to create your documentation around
the needs of your team. Any specification's primary purpose should be to
make it's audience's job easier by communicating the critical information
needed for the job at hand. So for the content of your doc, start with
figuring out who your audience is, then figure out what information they
need, and finally create a doc that solves the requirements. If they need
use cases make use cases, visual representations make wireframes or
mock-ups, etc. Oh yeah, you can call me Captain Obvious if you like.

- Josh Viney

On 12/13/06, Peter Boersma <peter at peterboersma.com> wrote:
>
> Valerie asked:
> > Anyone use a Form and Behavior spec in their workplace?
>
> ...and I wonder what the response (currently: <insert sound of
> crickets in background>) would have been if she'd used another name for the
> document she is looking for, something like "interaction design
> specification"? Because that's what it sounds like to me...
>
> Peter
> --
> Peter Boersma | Senior Experience Designer | Info.nl
> http://www.peterboersma.com/blog | http://www.info.nl
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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13 Dec 2006 - 2:10pm
Josh Seiden
2003

"Form and Behavior Spec" is a term used by Cooper to describe one of the
documents produced by their goal-directed design process. The name is
probably more unique than the document format (no doubt a Cooperista will
correct me on this) but it comes from a desire to do exactly what Josh Viney
describes--be user centered. The alternative titles listed below, while
accurate, probably mean more to us as specialists than to our audience.

We use this format in-house at my current shop, and while I can't share any
examples with you, I can say that it serves us well. And the name--it helps
us set expectations that this doc is different from (and complementary to)
the functional spec docs.

JS

On 12/13/06, Josh Viney <jviney at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Valerie,
> I've never heard the doc referred to as a "Form and Behavior" spec, but
> alternative titles could be:
>
> Interaction Design Spec (from Peter)
> Information Architecture Doc
> UX Specification
> Wireframes, Comps or Mock-ups
>
>

13 Dec 2006 - 2:25pm
Christian Sosa-Lanz
2006

We use the FnBS doc as well as all of the companies we work with.
It's common place in large corporate environments. I agree with Josh
in that the spec should be tailored to the audience, but like
everything we design, the audience doesn't know what they need. We've
changed the format to cater to the developers, Executives, QA and
ourselves numerous times. It is still not perfect, but we're getting
our point across.

The format we use consist of:
Cover Page-lists all scenarios
Intro-objectives
Personas' Objectives and goals
Solutions
New Terminology
Scenarios- Various scenarios written out step by step using personas.
Screen- high level interactions
Pieces of the screen with detailed interactions and rules
Minimum Performance Requirements

Everything in between is left up to personal writing style :) which
is good and bad.

13 Dec 2006 - 3:25pm
Jonathan Korman
2004

Josh Seiden observes:

: "Form and Behavior Spec" is a term used by Cooper
: ....
: The alternative titles listed below, while accurate,
: probably mean more to us as specialists than to our audience.

Speaking as a designer at Cooper, I fundamentally agree.

But of course I cannot resist a *little* hairsplitting, looking at those
titles from Josh Viney:

: Interaction Design Spec (from Peter)
: Information Architecture Doc
: UX Specification
: Wireframes, Comps or Mock-ups

"Interaction Design Spec" reads as identical to what we intend when we
say "Form and Behavior Spec," yes. If we felt more confident that our
clients would properly understand the term "interaction design," I think
we might prefer to use this term.

"UX Specification" also reads as the same in intent as "Form and
Behavior Spec," though it hints at something a bit broader. For
instance, I might expect to see a thorough articulation of the
out-of-box experience for a product in a UX Spec, while that might be
omitted from a F&B Spec.

"Wireframes," "Comps," and "Mock-ups" suggest something a bit lighter
than what I conceive of as a F&B Spec. What we call a F&B Spec is
thorough but not exhaustive: its illustrations look like real screen
captures, but might not exactly match the final result, its descriptions
of states and options attempt to account for all possible user actions
and system responses in a succinct way, it should include realistic
walkthroughs of key usage scenarios. We could rightly call all of that
"wireframes," for instance, but we could also use "wireframes" to
describe something less thorough, so there's some haziness.

"Information Architecture Doc" in some cases *could* be the same thing
as an F&BS ... *if* you don't rhetorically distinguish information
architecture from interaction design. Lots of folks in the web world
don't, and use IA to mean everything that ain't graphic design, thus
including IxD. But personally, I think that making a rhetorical
distinction between IA and IxD is valuable.

More on that here: http://tinyurl.com/7opew

14 Dec 2006 - 8:45am
Mark Schraad
2006

We tend to use a format call Design Requirements Documentation (DRD). These typically include wireframes, flow diagrams, interactions and visuals. Though we are developing web aps and web pages, there is a concerted effort on the part of management to agressively embrace agile, extreme and scrum types of development. These formats tend to downplay documentation. Unfortunately, they also highly depend on proximity for granular communications. With development acroos a campus, at a vendor/contractor site, or in Bangalor... some documentation is necessary. We are, however finding that simulation or prototyping with html, flash, or Axure is often faster, more accurate and better at communicating across cultures than our detailed and cumbersom documentation.

Mark

On Wednesday, December 13, 2006, at 05:08PM, "Jonathan Korman" <jonathan at cooper.com> wrote:
>Josh Seiden observes:
>
>: "Form and Behavior Spec" is a term used by Cooper
>: ....
>: The alternative titles listed below, while accurate,
>: probably mean more to us as specialists than to our audience.
>
>Speaking as a designer at Cooper, I fundamentally agree.
>
>But of course I cannot resist a *little* hairsplitting, looking at those
>titles from Josh Viney:
>
>: Interaction Design Spec (from Peter)
>: Information Architecture Doc
>: UX Specification
>: Wireframes, Comps or Mock-ups
>
>"Interaction Design Spec" reads as identical to what we intend when we
>say "Form and Behavior Spec," yes. If we felt more confident that our
>clients would properly understand the term "interaction design," I think
>we might prefer to use this term.
>
>"UX Specification" also reads as the same in intent as "Form and
>Behavior Spec," though it hints at something a bit broader. For
>instance, I might expect to see a thorough articulation of the
>out-of-box experience for a product in a UX Spec, while that might be
>omitted from a F&B Spec.
>
>"Wireframes," "Comps," and "Mock-ups" suggest something a bit lighter
>than what I conceive of as a F&B Spec. What we call a F&B Spec is
>thorough but not exhaustive: its illustrations look like real screen
>captures, but might not exactly match the final result, its descriptions
>of states and options attempt to account for all possible user actions
>and system responses in a succinct way, it should include realistic
>walkthroughs of key usage scenarios. We could rightly call all of that
>"wireframes," for instance, but we could also use "wireframes" to
>describe something less thorough, so there's some haziness.
>
>"Information Architecture Doc" in some cases *could* be the same thing
>as an F&BS ... *if* you don't rhetorically distinguish information
>architecture from interaction design. Lots of folks in the web world
>don't, and use IA to mean everything that ain't graphic design, thus
>including IxD. But personally, I think that making a rhetorical
>distinction between IA and IxD is valuable.
>
> More on that here: http://tinyurl.com/7opew
>
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>

14 Dec 2006 - 9:44am
Todd Warfel
2003

Josh,

Any chance you can share sanitized samples? It would be beneficial to
see the format of the document, even with a sanitized image and greek
text that would provide an overview of what format you're currently
using.

On Dec 13, 2006, at 2:10 PM, Joshua Seiden wrote:

> We use this format in-house at my current shop, and while I can't
> share any
> examples with you, I can say that it serves us well. And the name--
> it helps
> us set expectations that this doc is different from (and
> complementary to)
> the functional spec docs.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

14 Dec 2006 - 9:53am
Josh Seiden
2003

If only I had time, I wouldn't refer you to these:

http://www.cooper.com/content/insights/newsletters/2003_01/making_your_design_real.asp

http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/six_tips_for_improving_your_design_documentation

Sorry I can't do better.

JS

On 12/14/06, Todd Zaki Warfel <lists at toddwarfel.com> wrote:
>
> Josh,
> Any chance you can share sanitized samples? It would be beneficial to see
> the format of the document, even with a sanitized image and greek text that
> would provide an overview of what format you're currently using.
>
> On Dec 13, 2006, at 2:10 PM, Joshua Seiden wrote:
>
> We use this format in-house at my current shop, and while I can't share
> any
>
> examples with you, I can say that it serves us well. And the name--it
> helps
>
> us set expectations that this doc is different from (and complementary to)
>
> the functional spec docs.
>
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
> ----------------------------------
> *Contact Info*
> Voice: (215) 825-7423Email: todd at messagefirst.com
> AIM: twarfel at mac.com
> Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
> ----------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
>
>

14 Dec 2006 - 1:40pm
Jonathan Korman
2004

Todd Zaki Warfel asks ...

: Josh,
: Any chance you can share sanitized samples?

... and Josh Seiden responds ...

: If only I had time ...

To which I add:

Don't I know it. I've long dreamed of doing a spec design document and
publishing it as a book, to show the world the way these things ought to
look. But that's a BIG project.

14 Dec 2006 - 2:15pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Jonathan Korman wrote:

> Don't I know it. I've long dreamed of doing a spec design document and
> publishing it as a book, to show the world the way these things ought to
> look. But that's a BIG project.

It sounds like a book as important as About Face.
It can be the beginning of a series of IxD Practice books under the Cooper
Label. So important to the discipline, no?

-- dave

--
--
David Malouf
dave at ixda.org
http://ixda.org/

14 Dec 2006 - 4:35pm
Mitchell Gass
2004

At 11:38 AM 12/12/2006, Valerie Gomez de la Torre wrote:
>Anyone use a Form and Behavior spec in their workplace? If so, do
>you have a doc you could share?

Although it won't meet your immediate need, people who take the
Cooper U "Communicating Design" course

http://www.cooper.com/content/cooperu/classes.asp

receive a thick binder with sample deliverables, including a Form and
Behavior specification.

It's an excellent course, and a great bargain in my opinion. Cooper
deserves a lot of credit for sharing their methods.

Mitchell Gass
uLab | PDA: Learning from Users | Designing with Users
Berkeley, CA 94707 USA
+1 510 525-6864 voice
+1 510 525-4246 fax
http://www.participatorydesign.com/

14 Dec 2006 - 5:05pm
Peter Boersma
2003

Jonathan wrote:
> Don't I know it. I've long dreamed of doing a spec design document and
> publishing it as a book, to show the world the way these things ought to
> look. But that's a BIG project.

Like this: Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning ?
http://www.amazon.com/Communicating-Design-Developing-Documentation-Planning/dp/0321392353

Peter

14 Dec 2006 - 5:21pm
Jonathan Korman
2004

In response to my comment ...

: Don't I know it. I've long dreamed of doing a spec design document and
: publishing it as a book, to show the world the way these things ought
to
: look. But that's a BIG project.

... Peter Boersma asks ...

: Like this: Communicating Design: Developing Web Site
: Documentation for Design and Planning ?

And the answer is, not quite, no.

That book, being focused on web design, presumably devotes significant
attention to page templates and information architecture. Those are a
different class of problem from what I'm interested in. I'm more
concerned with the complex behaviors of interaction design --- stuff
like desktop apps, consumer devices, medical/scientific instruments, and
web-based tools (rather than web sites, if you see the distinction).

More significantly, the fantasy book I don't really have time to do
wouldn't be a book about interaction design documentation. It would be a
book of interaction design documentation. It would describe the design
of a specific product in detail, just like I do for clients.

As I say, that's a big project. Unfortunately, my attention is too much
devoted to client work for me to also take the time for this.

__________

Cooper | Product Design for a Digital World

Jonathan Korman
Principal consultant

(415) 267 3508 office
(415) 336 9576 mobile
jonathan at cooper.com <mailto:jonathan at cooper.com> | www.cooper.com
<http://www.cooper.com/>

All information in this message is proprietary & confidential

15 Dec 2006 - 3:26am
Peter Boersma
2003

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com namens Jonathan Korman
Verzonden: do 12/14/2006 11:21
Aan: discuss at ixda.org
Onderwerp: [IxDA Discuss] form and behavior documentation

In response to my comment ...

: Don't I know it. I've long dreamed of doing a spec design document and
: publishing it as a book, to show the world the way these things ought
to
: look. But that's a BIG project.

... Peter Boersma asks ...

: Like this: Communicating Design: Developing Web Site
: Documentation for Design and Planning ?

And the answer is, not quite, no.

That book, being focused on web design, presumably devotes significant
attention to page templates and information architecture. Those are a
different class of problem from what I'm interested in. I'm more
concerned with the complex behaviors of interaction design --- stuff
like desktop apps, consumer devices, medical/scientific instruments, and
web-based tools (rather than web sites, if you see the distinction).

More significantly, the fantasy book I don't really have time to do
wouldn't be a book about interaction design documentation. It would be a
book of interaction design documentation. It would describe the design
of a specific product in detail, just like I do for clients.

As I say, that's a big project. Unfortunately, my attention is too much
devoted to client work for me to also take the time for this.

__________

Cooper | Product Design for a Digital World

Jonathan Korman
Principal consultant

(415) 267 3508 office
(415) 336 9576 mobile
jonathan at cooper.com <mailto:jonathan at cooper.com> | www.cooper.com
<http://www.cooper.com/>

All information in this message is proprietary & confidential

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

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