This past weekend I attended an informative and fun AIGA lecture/workshop that shared big agency approaches to mobile web design (aka responsive design), mobile app design, user experience and bringing it all together with super iterative Agile project management techniques. Presenter Aaron Shurts, President of AIGA Seattle and Associate Creative Director at Deloitte Digital, talked about his experience in developing mobile apps for clients Nike, Alaska Airlines and ShowTime. Here are some of my top takeaways:
Agile Project Management
Create a better user experience, and thus a better product, by developing chunks of your project in short intervals called sprints. The development team breaks down project requirements into user stories and the client’s representative (the product owner) prioritizes them. Based on priority, user stories developed in iterations of just a week or two, which includes user experience, user interface and programming, sometimes in the form of rapid prototypes or sometimes as fully functional elements, always within context of how they will be used.
For more info, check out Agile Project Management for Dummies.
Agile PM: Style Tiles
Instead of developing the graphic design of an entire project before sharing with the client for approval, style tiles show the key graphic elements that serve as the basic ingredients for developing individual chunks of a project using Agile project management. Colors, fonts, symbols, button functionality, etc, can be included here. Clients can then approve styles and overall feelings, instead of pixel-exact large scale designs.
Mobile Web Design
As responsive web design (i.e. sites that have code and graphics designed to adapt to different devices) has quickly become the standard for mobile web design, developers have had to rethink their web building techniques. They now need to design website features with fluidity and touch screen interactivity in mind, led by questions like “How will this look at 320, 768, 1024 pixels?” and “How far apart should link areas be for iPad, iPhone, Android, etc.?”. By using digital tools like FieldTest or back-of-the-napkin rapid prototyping, designers create interactive mini mockups that walk the user through the layout and functionality of a feature, providing valuable feedback in the early stages of development and, thus, preventing a lot of potential backtracking later on.
And that’s just a quick summary of my favorite thoughts from Aaron’s awesome lecture. Thanks AIGA Alaska for bringing him to Alaska!
It’s spring and big shifts are happening in SWS. As a business is an extension of yourself, I’ve spent the past year figuring out who I want to be and how I want to serve the world. As a result of this soul-searching, SWS has let go of technical support in order to make space…
We are thrilled to have launched a much improved Job Board for Saltchuk that makes their job openings shine. Saltchuk is the logistical giant that operates throughout Alaska and Lower 48 with its set of companies: Foss, TOTE, Northern Aviation Services, Tropical Shipping, and NorthStar Energy. Saltchuk was seeking to provide more value to the…
Sky Airparts International is a family business based in Anchorage and Indianapolis that keeps aviators all over the globe well stocked. They compete in a mighty industry and needed an online presence that reflected their impressive coverage, inventory, and professionalism. Last year Sky Air reached out to SWS fulfill these goals through a site re-design…