Here at Stage One, we think we’ve got planning UX project planning down to a fine art! Between us, it seems like we have been doing UX projects forever, and we wanted to share our wisdom with you.
What is a project plan?
Planning a user experience (UX) project can be a balancing act of getting the right amount of user input within the constraints of your project. The trick is to work out the best use of your time. How can you get the most UX goodness for your client’s budget? Read on to find out a little bit more about our process when it comes to planning a UX design project
Why do I need a plan?
Whenever you become involved in a new project, no matter what stage you join, the first thing you should do is set out a plan for how you intend to proceed. It can serve as a discussion point for everyone involved and ensures that everyone working on the project understands how the scope of work should proceed and what needs to be completed. When we have joined a project, we’ve always used this approach and have gotten fantastic results every time!
How to create a project plan
When making a UX project plan, the clear consensus is to go with the inverted triangle approach, the “who, what, where, when, how & why”. This is an excellent approach because it can be applied to many different projects and save you time and stress when coming up with a plan!
So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty! Here is what we include in our plans (as a bare minimum);
- The projects’ background- this contains any information on why the project was created. It essentially gives us some context on the project
- The project goals (why)- We use this space to work out the project’s main priorities and then number them. You could also split your priorities into themes or categories to easier establish which is the most important one to focus on
- The Projects resources (who & where)- This is where we write down the names of the team working on the UX project and their roles in the project. If your project is split amongst different locations, it would also be worth noting that information in this section
- The deliverables (what) – In this section, we include what has been discussed with the client and what their expectations are for the project.
- The project’s timeline (when)- Time to outline our time! Here we outline all the major milestones of the project and what deadlines we intend to work to, bearing in mind the client expectations. It would also be worth adding a summary for those team members who skim read!
- How you’re going to work (how)- Normally, this will include information on meetings for running through the project with our team. It’s also worth thinking about if you’re going to use a backlog system and, if so, which one. Then we include any other tools we’re going to use, for example, time reporting apps
- Does the project have any constraints that may affect it? – in this part of the plan, we outline any risks that we feel may affect the project and how we intend to tackle them if any challenges arise. It is also worth noting any technical issues that may affect the project overall. Generally, choosing what technology to use for a project isn’t recommended early on unless the client has specific recommendations
So, there you have it! This is an overview of how we plan our UX projects effectively. Obviously, everyone has their work style that develops over time, but this is a great place to start!