Prototyping

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Recently I've been working on a project where we've been exploring all kinds of use-case scenarios for a product. With this particular client, we saw they were getting more value right away from hi-fi wireframes so we jumped right in.

As we were going through difference scenarios and use cases, we found that by coming up with a few different user profiles were really helpful.

Jane- The everything mobile user

Bill- The everything tech geek

Jon- The tooln' tasker

Martha- The advice taker

As we presented our flows, we build stories around each of these personas and narrated upon them to bring as much life to the story as possible. We found the team started to really understand and see where the gaps might be along with identifying with what kinds of interactions a certain type of person might gravitate towards.

On Making Things

I'll start out by saying that this last season has been a whirlwind.  It has been one where I have truly been able to evaluate and reflect on the passions and things I love.  It has also been a season where I can say I've produced a ton, which has not always been the case as I have tried to find my place in a larger company.  So the question I ask is -what brought about this change?  Firstly I think inspiration has been a major part in it.  I have been lucky enough to have had some great mentors give some great advice along the way.  Secondly, it's going back to my roots.  Finding out what some of the key things that have weighed on my heart over time going way back to just a kid.

A bit of background about me.  I didn't actually study design in school.  I studied business with a concentration in information systems.  Through it all, though, I found that there was this burning desire to be creative and make things.  Growing up, my mother was always fiddling with drawings and paintings and later began teaching art to children in our home.  My grandfather was a civil engineer and designed much of the parks and landmarks in the Santa Barbara county.  Besides his work, he was always making things in the garage.  I can remember as a kid just being blown away that he could sketch up some rough ideas for a chair, grandfather clock, or patio-table umbrella with a pulley system, all out of wood and then get to work and produce something so well designed.

I think initially I was skeptical about my own abilities and potential to make things as I compared myself to some of these amazing things I saw my family making and just determined I was not artistic in any way.  It was only later that I discovered the fact that we are all humans just trying to figure things out and it takes time to develop a craft.  Lots of time.  It took my grandfather years of schooling to be able to design with exact measurements and then create.  It took my mother years of experimenting on pad a paper ( and if you ask her now she will deny she has any form of talent.  Not true. )  And it would take me time to develop my craft in design as well.

But now, as I reflect it takes a childlike wonder to experiment, learn, and continue through the failures.  Why do I say childlike?  I say it because it's when we were children that we didn't have the concept of comparing ourselves to others.  Ages of 2-10 or so.  We were still in this discovery phase where our scribbles on paper did not merit any sort of self confidence issues.  But as time goes on, and we don't exercise our artistic wonder, we become more and  more concerned about how good our product is instead of developing our wonder and craft.

All this to say, that it's when I get back to my childlike wonder do I really find joy in making things and begin to see progress.  Progress, though, should not be the end goal.  The end goal should be to know the talents and gifts God has given you and walk in them confidently and securely.