Here's a work/process/confrontation scenario for the group that some of you may have experience with, and I'm seeking advice on.
I'm working on an important redesign project for my company and found out recently
that a project manager (not a designer and not directly involved in the project) spent some of his/her own time
coming up with a functioning wireframe prototype for this project. In fact, this same person has been "shopping it around" to our development folks and hasn't involved the core project team in these discussions.
Here are the issues:
- A core team was already assembled for this project that includes pm's (not this one), usability, user education writer, senior leadership, etc.
- The design this person created has been attempted in the past and failed usability testing. Not to mention, I explored the idea at the start of the project (sketches only) and determined the amount of design and interaction issues were too great for the time allocated and our give objectives.
- I have plenty of experience translating wireframes into real screens and there's no way this design will scale to live site material with our browser requirements/stats. Plus, once real world data is applied to the design it really becomes a mess.
- We are out of the concept phase. I've already progressed my designs beyond wireframes and have been through a round of usability testing. When I'm not dealing with issues like this I'm trying to iterate the designs and push forward.
- I respect the person professionally. This pm is smart and a good person to work with, but can be headstrong.
I'm particularly frustrated with the knowledge that this person is showing the designs around to the teams that will ultimately build out the project team's solutions. My initial reaction was to sit down and review the design, which I did. I looked at it through the PM's eyes, and then I critiqued it using best practices, recent usability tests, persona information, and historical data. The PM assigned to the project and I then had a conversation to discuss the design and my critique.
The challenge is how to approach the PM without feeling like we're laying the smack down. We want to keep these kind of ideas flowing through the team, but we can't have folks inserting their hand at random points in the project time line. I feel like directly talking to the PM in question and explaining the issues could help, but I also think his/her invested time could mean difficulty in dealing with them.
So how do you react to this? What would be your plan of action? Thoughts?