At Daylight, and I’m sure at other companies with smaller teams, it is vital that each person in the team is there for a reason: to bring their unique set of skills to the table. Attending the “Design Studio: A Method for Idea Generation, Critique and Iteration” workshop at WebVisions 2013 cemented my belief that it’s important to leverage these skill sets from a project’s inception.
In the workshop we were broken into teams of four (in an agency environment, rather than a workshop environment, these smalls teams might consist of a Project Manager, Designer, Front End Developer and a Backend Developer). We were then presented with a persona and a scenario and instructed to sketch individually as many design solutions as we could within 3 minutes. Some people sketched 3, some people sketched 6. After the 3 minutes were over, each individual presented their designs to their teams and was critiqued (2 minutes were spent on each individual’s presentation and critique). We were then instructed to take the feedback and spend 3 minutes sketching one design solution. Then we, again, presented and were critiqued individually. Finally, we were given 20 minutes to work as a team to create one design.
What I found interesting in this process was that each member of my team latched onto something different from the scenario. One person concentrated on social sharing. One person concentrated on visual stimulation. One person concentrated on sorting and filtering. One person concentrated on garnering user response. Our individual designs were good, but the design solution we created as a team harnessed all of our individual designs’ strengths to create a BETTER design.