06 July 2007 15:08pm
In a typical life cycle of web development, my company would follow this path
Requirements gathering >
Review and analysis by technical team >
Production of Logical Page Specifications by development team>
Validation of LPS by Ecommerce team
At present I find the format of our LPS quite cumbersome. They are in Word documents and include screenshots of the wireframes followed by tables that include long sentences to describe functionality.
- Is there a better way of doing this? - What experience have other people had with this sort of thing?- Is there any good examples or templates.?- I thought perhaps having this kind of data in web form perhaps a wiki or something?
All Thoughts welcome...
Multichannel Strategy Director at Specialist Holidays Group - TUI Travel
06 July 2007 16:01pm
1 word - prototyping.Getting away from very long specification documents is the key to delivering things more rapidly. You should do some reading around Agile development.
Also there are some very decent tools out there that will enable you to take wireframes one step further into clickable prototypes. Axure (http://www.axure.com) is one such tool that also has the capability to build you a spec document alongside the prototype itself.
Agile actually dumps the whole idea of a functional spec, relying on daily communication between the developer and the "user" - in this case your e-com team.
There are some cultural obstacles to this however.
1. Development approach. If you are developing in India then a more formal handover of a functional spec is likely to be required. Also if you have a deeply entrenched way of doing QA then those guys are going to want a "testable" spec to work with for building out test scenarios and scripts.
2. Team skillsets. You may find tools like Axure hard to use or manage over time. It kinda depends on how technically capable your E-com team are.
3. Project management. Agile goes against some of the deeply entrenched natural urges of PRINCE project managers surrounding "deliverables" and milestones.
Also I note that you're not including any user input as a core part of your process. This is a huge missing. Prototyping can help there by providing material to put in front of users for user testing. You will find you catch errors in the design earlier this way, and usually uncover valuable insight you would not have gotten otherwise.
Director at Watson Hall Ltd
09 July 2007 09:41am
Having prototypes that match the logical page specifications is certainly a good way to convey the concepts of what is in the specification, and some user testing of these at an early stage may highlight issues which are easier to solve the earlier they are tackled.
The other thing that needs to be addressed during the early stages of a project is the security. Best practice would be to define all the types of user, what they can do and what the data is and then undertake some type of threat modelling and assessment during the stages that Danny has identified to build this into the design process. This will then help the 'review and analysis by the development team' since they shouldn't be the people deciding the classification of data, it's value or what the risks are. You need to ensure the new project does not:
Colin WatsonTechnical DirectorWatson Hall Ltd Website Security
11 July 2007 06:24am
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