Archives for category: Project Management

Problem: You have a process that varies widely, depending on what the project entails (i.e. a 100-page website vs. a Facebook Page). However, when you propose a solution to a client, you still do not have the hours required per task fully detailed.

Solution: A clear hierarchy of your process. A discrete but non-sequential list of steps that adjust based on what the client agrees to pay for, and what is deemed appropriate for the project. A task tree!

Example task tree for a website user experience design process.

First, the user creates a task tree with all of the possible steps in a particular project. Here, that project is a website design.

Now that the tree is created, the project manager or designer can pick elements (or “leaves,” if you want to continue the metaphor) from it and complete a project scheme.

An example task tree with elements selected and a list of suggested deliverables outlined.

The selected tasks are highlighted, and a list of suggested deliverables is created. From here, the amount of hours required for the project could be estimated.

It’s not robust, and it’s definitely a very rough concept. But the simplicity of being able to just pick and choose tasks from a complete and transparent selection and have a solid list of required project deliverables propagate… now that would be useful.

This could even be morphed into an application. Once a user selects all of the steps in the process, the system could auto-build a document template, from which the project team could complete and deliver to the client.

Problem: You work at a design agency. You and dozens of other creatives share and individually conjure thousands of ideas, large and small, but your current process leaves a mess of sticky notes, illegible scribbles and difficult-to-save, complex concepts.

Solution: ScribWall, a┬álarge, wide, transparent, touch-screen, collaborative creative interface that acts like a whiteboard, with savable and transferable canvases, or “walls.”

A rough wireframe for the ScribWall concept.

I compiled preliminary notes and ideas in a one-page wireframe. (Be kind; this is rough.)

Okay, now I already know that interactive whiteboards do exist. I am suggesting we take it up a notch, add several professional and familiar sketching tools, and really crank out an impressive, collaborative, computer-connected creative surface.

Future Components

I would suggest the interface speed and tool set should mimic and improve upon OmniGraffle, as opposed to Photoshop. The latter has been abused far too long as a web design tool. It’s an image editor. I would suggest InDesign, but it is sluggish and crashes far too often. And I’m not familiar enough with Fireworks to compare.

In essence, you should be able to construct from scratch anything you could normally do with a set of professional drawing tools and a chalkboard-sized piece of white paper.

Two-Faced

Note that the ScribWall is a glass interface, not a one-sided whiteboard. Say Designer Joe wanted to draw a screen on the side facing him. He would have the option to swap the screen to the opposite side, where, say, a 20-person team could view it while he compiled the next screen. In the meantime, Designer Joe’s partner, Art Director Jane, could present whatever Joe created.

Neat? Or not? Either way, I think it’s pretty cool.