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When capturing requirements from clients or stakeholders a good way to start  is to hold a brainstorming session.  Asking people to contribute to a brainstorming session for a new product or feature is a great way to gather information and get people involved and emotionally invested in the project. Invite all stakeholders and key representatives from each area of the company that the product will effect. Try to ensure that everyone invited gets the opportunity to contribute. The greatest insight can come from the most unlikely of participants and gathering input from every department will help to get a more all encompassing view of what is required.

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Why prototype?

Prototypes can be used to explore how a users navigate through a site or reach goals using a feature. They provide a great way of testing usability before development starts.

  • Help to gather user (or business) requirements
  • Enable you to think through different scenarios and possibilities
  • You can try out different solutions
  • Aid communication with users, developers and business owners
  • They can reduce the risk of needing to rework and redeploy a completed element.

A good prototype will use a sample set of data and simulate as closely as possible how the finished feature will work. Continue Reading »

  1. Open expression blend and design your WPF
  2. Follow this tutorial to create a windowless WPF with a close button:
    http://expression.microsoft.com/en-us/cc188959.aspx
  3. Follow this tutorial to create a windowless WPF with a minimize button
    http://blogs.msdn.com/danteg/archive/2008/01/16/getting-the-vista-minimize-with-windowless-applications.aspx
  4. Then to make your windowless WPF draggable type this into your XAML: Continue Reading »

I am at a web development company that splits up the work flow thus: Illustrators, Designers, Front End coders, Developers, Producers, Beggar man and Thief. I am contracting as a Front End coder. I spend my days coding XHTML, CSS and a little JavaScript. I miss being involved with the design aspect of developing a web site but have little to complain about as the position was clearly advertised for what it was when I applied. Continue Reading »

The power of taking notes

I advise to always take a notebook and pen into meetings and take notes. It helps to keep focused and the ink will not fade unlike memory. The notes can be a great tool to help review the meetings content and as a reference should you become unsure of anything. Taking notes also helps to maintain an efficient work flow as you will not have to interrupt other peoples work with questions about what was agreed in a meeting that you attended. Continue Reading »

Hashtags on twitter

Twitter is a free social messaging and micro-blogging utility. It allows users to send and read other users updates know as tweets. Tweets can be about anything from what chocolate bar you are eating at that moment to the latest breaking news. Tweets are being used for many things from conferences attendees commenting on what is being said to celebrities updating their fans about what they are thinking and doing. Ashton Kutcher twittered whilst at the Oscars letting his fans know his thoughts on the big event. Continue Reading »

I was in The Museum of Modern Art New York looking at a design exhibition when I came across a couple of posters that slapped me in the face, yanking me out of my torpid day dream. They were by a designer called Stefan Sagmeister. The first, called Fresh Dialogue was designed to advertise a debate taking place as part of an AIGA lecture series in1996. Sagmeister bought two tongues from a local market which he then photographed and set against a white background with the information hand written in black text. The wet red fleshy tongues both revolt and intrigue drawing you in to see what the poster is all about, challenging the view to look and investigate further. The second poster was produced to advertise another AIGA lecture Sagmeister was giving. The text is scratched in bloody cuts into a his torose. Blood beads up on the cross bar of a T and it is hard not to think of the pain that he must have endured and wonder if he was left physically scared. It is a committed piece, violent and a little scary made all the more powerful by the brutality of it’s execution. Continue Reading »