After you publish, test and review

As a consultant to business and government, I know my clients often see publishing as a project that has a start, middle, and end. Once they’ve published their app, their data, or their text and media, they often express relief that the job is finished and then want to forget about it.

The thing is, they’re not finished. If the app, data, or content is mission critical, they must not simply forget about it.

A story: Averting failure

To illustrate what can happen when people publish and forget, here’s a simple story. It’s from the perspective of a customer or “user” of some material that was published by others. In this story, I am one of those customers.

I wanted to meet a colleague near London’s Liverpool Station, so that we could attend a design event together. To decide where to meet, we used the internet to access a tool, data, and material published by others.

We needed to:

  • look at a map of Liverpool Street Station
  • choose a meeting location nearby
  • have a look at the event brochure

Continue reading “After you publish, test and review”

Eight ways to improve the usability of Agile products

Software development that uses a waterfall method is likely to deliver the wrong thing, too late. The intent of the Agile method is to deliver working software sooner, so the intended users—our clients and their customers—can provide feedback that steers us to deliver the right thing.

There’s a tension between delivering on time and delivering the right thing. In fact, the rush for on-time delivery can result in the wrong thing—an unusable product. There are ways to prevent this. Continue reading “Eight ways to improve the usability of Agile products”