A case for efficient non-deliverable documentation
Once in a while, there’ll be projects where certain artefacts aren’t required as client-facing deliverables. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a step we can forego. As UX practitioners, we know that they can be vital steps of the process that help unearth key insights and opportunities for our solutions.
I was faced with this exact scenario in a pitch.
My role was to come up with a user-centered digital solution within 2 weeks, and I knew that discovery and research would take up a significant amount of that time. I couldn’t just jump straight into ideating solutions without first conducting research on the industry and understanding its users.
I had to work fast.
When it was time to start thinking about user journey maps, I thought about the usual components that go into one. Actions, thoughts, emotions, touch points, opportunities (and more, you know the drill) of a persona are usually detailed along each phase of their journey. I needed a quick way to list all of these things down as I conducted my research.
Then it struck me, why not Trello?
Each phase of the journey could be denoted as a list, and the cards within each list could represent all the variables the persona experienced during that phase. It made too much sense to me not to try it out.
Alright, let’s do this.
Starting a new board, I established multiple lists to represent each stage of the journey for one of my personas.
Adding cards in Trello is lightning fast. Which was great because the number of things to input seemed like a ton. I then decided that I would color-code the cards, and append a simple legend in another list on the left to give me a visual overview of everything.
Doing this allowed me to focus my efforts on collaboration and be more rigorous with my analysis. I was then able to come up with recommendations that met our users’ needs.
Apart from its ease of use, the reason why tools like Trello do so well (and get acquired by companies like Atlassian) is because of its openness to interpretation. There isn’t any one right way to use it. If you visit their website, there’s a page showcasing the many ways that people use Trello.
At the end of the day, tools are just a means to an end. This may be an unconventional method and I’m sure there are other ways of doing similar things (do share, I’d love to know!), but I’m always in favor of discovering more efficient ways of supporting my workflow in different contexts.