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Better Usability Through Visualization

How To Facilitate A Visualization Session

Visualization is a requirements elicitation and documentation technique which significantly reduces or eliminates the common problems of software definition.

Practitioners of this technique can expect improved usability, increased innovation, lower development costs and faster project time lines. This workshop provides attendees with the ingredients for successful use of visualization.

Workshop by Chuck Konfrst (Slalom Consulting), Justin Cullifer (OneSpring), Chris Staufer (OneSpring), Jason Kuykendall (OneSpring)
Advanced Practitioners (AP)
2:40pm to 6:00pm on Wednesday, June 22, 2011
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About the Workshop

Introduction Introduction of the speakers 2 min

Outline of Workshop Set participant expectations 2 min

What Is Visualization? Introduce the concept of visualization. 15 min

Visualization Demonstration Show a mock visualization session.
Participants will act as stakeholders of a mock company and project. 25 min

Presentation on the Ingredients of Visualization Workshops Discuss the specifics of the ingredients of a visualization session. A presentation and two-way dialog with participants. 15 min

Group Breakout Participants will break into small collaborative groups. 5 min

Select Mock Project Participants will collectively decide on a small software project or enhancement to visualize.
Participants will decide on roles they will play. 10 min

Group “Plays” Each group will conduct their own project requirements sessions. 90 min

Questions & Answers Questions & Answers about the topics of the workshop. 15 min

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF WORKSHOP It should be stated that the exact activities and schedule is flexible depending on the mix of participants, their backgrounds, and their experience. There is no “one-size-fits-all” in the use of visualization for usability and software definition. The approach provides an immersive and fun; stage play; where participants act out a requirements gathering session taking on different roles and learning more effective requirements facilitation skills using visualization. The use of visualization as a methodology in software definition will be extensively explored. The popular visualization tools will be demonstrated and discussed including extensive pros and cons of each of the popular software packages.

Presenters will hold a mock requirements gathering session to show participants how visualization can be used to gather better requirements and user experiences. Iterative Design will be discussed in the context of how it relates to visualization and usability.

Activities will include visualizing a software project using notebook computers, flip charts and handouts to iterate a concept low fidelity to high fidelity. Generating “Flow” is an important ingredient in optimizing the visualization experience for project stakeholders. In addition to two-way discussions, hands-on activities will include how to pick project stakeholders to requirements gathering sessions, the employment of user-centered-design within the session and more.

Co-presenters with a background in business analysis will have a two-way discussion with participants on the best practices of business analysis and how user experience professionals can become involved in software projects earlier in the software development lifecycle.

Participants will work in small collaborative groups to work on their own software projects. All of these techniques will be brought together by each group with their own mock visualization session.

Presenters will offer suggestions and mentoring. Case studies will include the use of visualization within an Agile methodology for the March of Dimes resulting in significantly better user experience on a major software project, including the reduction of project time lines and cost.