Quality-Managing IxD (was Decision Trees)

14 Jan 2005 - 11:30am
9 years ago
3 replies
596 reads
Mike Baxter
2004

<dave> Iteration is all around us. The question is do we
create a structure for acknowledging it and do we take iteration to a
microlevel. </dave>
Time for a reality check! I've got a couple of jobs live at the moment, to
do with quality-managing the IxD process - what gets signed off, how and by
whom. The tradition of QM seems to me to be hierarchical. Sign off the
business need, move on to concepts. Sign off the concepts and move on to
embodiments etc. This is what I'm struggling with. Thinking about details
often makes you question their underlying concepts - the
'hold-on-a-moment-why-are-we-doing-this' question. Now, clearly it would be
daft to build a QM system that did not allow signed-off decisions to be
changed - although that is how QM systems are often used despite the best
intentions of their creator. So I want to try to develop a system that
actually encourages designers to question the assumptions underlying the
task in-hand. I think it will be a better QM system if it has iteration
built in to it structurally.
Just to be clear, iteration often has all sorts of unfortunate connotations
of 'going round in circles' or 'spiralling off in ever decreasing circles'.
What I am talking about is a minimum but (I feel) necessary challenging of
higher-level assumptions as the design progresses into finer details.
So, anyone been down this road? Any ideas, suggestions? Anyone got a
hierarchically organised QM system but it works just fine? Anyone got an
iterative QM system that makes them weep? Anyone got ant sort of generic
sign-off (QM) system for IxD that they actually like?
Mike

Comments

14 Jan 2005 - 11:37am
Dave Malouf
2005

HI Mike,

I think I would answer your question by saying x-functional teams.
The iterative design process happens during
Business concept
Concept framework
Design framework
Design flow
...

While leadership during each stage changes, the participants should remain
constant and cross-functional.

Saying that "designers" should be given the opportunity to challenge implies
that others do not at other stages. In an open design environment, what
makes someone the optimum leader of a phase of QM is their ability to
evaluate an idea. This "ability" comes from experience and expertise.

-- dave

14 Jan 2005 - 11:48am
Peter Boersma
2003

Mike Baxter asked:

[about Quality-Management systems, but I think it's actually Project
Management systems]

> Anyone got a
> hierarchically organised QM system but it works just fine? Anyone got an
> iterative QM system that makes them weep? Anyone got ant sort of generic
> sign-off (QM) system for IxD that they actually like?

I'm pretty happy with our home-brewed user-centered design process, based on
RUP but with UCD artefacts added-on. RUP, the Rational Unified Process, is
iterative by nature but lacks attention to UCD. We expanded it with UCD
roles like Information Architect, Usability Planner, Interaction Designer
etc., as well as with UCD deliverables such as screenflows, wireframes,
mockups, usability test strategy, style guides, etc.

I'll be presenting how we did this at the IA Summit in March (see:
http://www.iasummit.org/2005/conferencedescrip.htm#39).

Peter
--
Peter Boersma - Senior Information Architect - EzGov
De Schinkel, Rijnsburgstraat 11 - 1059 AT Amsterdam - The Netherlands
p: +31(0)20 7133881 - f: +31(0)20 7133799 - m: +31(0)6 15072747
mailto: peter.boersma at ezgov.com - http://www.ezgov.com

14 Jan 2005 - 1:37pm
Listera
2004

Mike Baxter:

> QM

What's that?

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

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