Even more from PDC 2010: Release early: Release often strategy

Diana Mounter & Dave Gravina, Digital Eskimo (DE)


Wordle: Release early: Release often

DE’s Tools: human-centred design, PD, agile & ethnographic research.

Amongst other tactics they:

  • ask questions & challenge assumptions!
  • Break-up problems into small chunks
  • encourage risk taking & celebrate mistakes

Immersion Phase

  • workshops include co-design for shared understanding, helps bring all perspectives together
  • synthesize outcomes to define scope
  • desk research (some is usually already done)
  • observe research & interviews
  • workshop ideas with communications teams
  • they gave out packs for people to record diaries in their homes (incl cameras, diaries)
  • co-design activities brought people together, so insights were gained & shared (I think this is extremely beneficial and therefore very important for libraries in educational institutions to recognise)

User Experience Strategy

  • working with community (not just a Council)
  • synthesising findings & keeping users at centre of process
  • develop personas (to represent different user perspectives)
  • iterative approach to features (tested & feedback built in)
  • branding was a challenge – simple terms are important (not jargon) – and this changed brand “personality”
  • testing the first release with small group of users also “seeds” the product & they were surveyed
  • ambassadors become champions (checking posts, etc.)
  • statistics were given about the difference a small change can make
  • iterated on design & site architecture also (addition of events & tags stretched design in a final stage)
  • agile & participatory approach worked very well with this process delivering transparency
  • they released often got feedback & improved services
  • the client was happy, good results came, and a new platform was born

Some debate followed about whether “agile” design is good method to use for conservative/cautious clients.

People like to trial and see how things go.

How to engage skeptics or the uninterested? People segment on values, so there is a range and some people are going to be desensitised to the green message. Feeling of being part of a social norm really helps – being part of something, a growing movement. Not just preaching to converted, but giving voice to those who want to get involved. In this project it was not about (do this ) “because” but about “how to” (do something), so when ready, people could consult.

DE are doing some great work around town and in the social innovation and web-design spaces. They were one of the sponsors for Industry Day and are a company to watch in Sydney for sure.

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