Join Chris Nodder for an in-depth discussion in this video User-centered planning, part of UX Design Techniques: Implementation Planning (2014).
As I've mentioned in previous courses in this series, you can move from initial site visits through to having a user tested prototype design in just one or two weeks. This makes the process very valuable as a sprint zero activity or an initial design exploration. The user centered design process gives you just enough design information to carry through into your regular agile sprint cycle, or to start the full planning process if you're using a waterfall methodology. But the user centered design artifacts don't stop being useful at this point.
In fact, they can be very useful in helping you with the planning process. You can use them to help with prioritization, determining dependencies, setting goals and creating metrics, and for estimation of the amount of effort required. It might be a surprise to you that users that design artifacts are useful for activities outside of traditional visual design. But having an understanding of who your users are, what they need from you and how you intend to provide that to them, is actually a prerequisite for any planning activity. Many times in software development, issues with project delays or change requests can be traced back to poorly described user needs or badly designed features.
So, rather than just diving into the coding process, it's best to create a plan for what you intend to build, in what order, and with what checks and balances. By using the information we gathered from the user centered design process to inform our planning activities, we stand a much better chance of creating a plan that's understandable, easy to communicate to everyone on the team. And easy to track against. The plan will be more understandable because it's based on the shared understanding that the team built during the user centered design process. It will be easier to communicate because it draws on the information that everyone on the team is already familiar with.
And which is displayed in the user centered design artifacts such as personas, storyboards. And the paper prototype interface. And, it's easy to track against because it draws on the goals and metrics that you set from your initial understanding of user's ping points. Throughout the development process, you can measure your success with a combination of usability tests and system metrics. The rest of this course will cover the steps you need to take to create a project plan using these user centered design artifacts.