How to Prototype and Influence People

Mind-blowingly great post from Firefox’s lead designer (now a dead link) Aza Raskin on the power of prototyping as communication, why you need to start with design and how to communicate ideas visually since it’s all about influencing people. Like, wow… And very topical for my team at the moment (which does not have a designer or front-end engineer). And it definitely re-affirms Agile as a process.

To Design is to inspire participation.

No matter how good you are there is no substitute for trying it. You are wrong.

How to prototype and influence people from azaraskin

Even love the way he’s distilled the principles into a checklist:

  1. Your first try will be wrong. Budget and design for it.
  2. Aim to finish a usable artifact in a day. This helps you focus and scope.
  3. You are making a touchable sketch. Do not fill in all the lines.
  4. You are iterating your solution as well as your understanding of the problem.
  5. Treat your code as throw-away, but be ready to refactor.
  6. Borrow liberally
  7. Tell a story with your prototype. It isn’t just a set of features.

Also, I’d highly recommend Asa’s So You Want to Be a Designer post (dead link) as well. Gold.

via O’Reilly Radar.