Testing may precede requirements as a way to see what works (or doesn’t work)
with the current site, or with related sites. Testing may also occur throughout
the design process, a way to constantly evaluate and reﬁne your work.
There’s no direct relationship between these activities and the kinds of docu-
ments described in this book. The design documents, for example, do not
necessarily correspond to the design activity. As you’ll see in the chapters them-
selves, these deliverables—though mostly used for design—can also be used as
tools for gathering requirements and testing.
Beyond methodology, project teams maintain an unwritten set of rules for
working together. This is the project culture—an understanding of the value
each team member brings to the table, of how communications happen between
team members, and the role of documentation in the organization.
This book assumes, perhaps naively, that a good project team should be built on
collaboration and consensus. Most projects fare better when they operate under
the assumption that everyone wants to make a worthwhile and meaningful con-
tribution and that people should feel some ownership for their work. Such an
approach comes with potential risks: the project becomes more about soothing
egos than doing what’s right, decision making takes longer, innovation doesn’t
happen in groups. But a group (and again, this is perhaps naive, but not without
its merit) committed to a successful project will take steps to mitigate those risks.
Many of the documents described in this book use diagrams, visual representa-
tions of ideas or concepts. Since the early days of web design, these pictures
have proved to be the best way to document some of the abstractions design
teams have to work with. Although each of the documents in this book relies
on a different process to create it, there is a general method you can follow
when creating a diagram. (This is more or less the process I use. Your mileage
Do a situation analysis. Three things will shape your approach to
diagramming an idea: the purpose of the drawing, where it ﬁts into the
process, and the audience. These factors are discussed in detail for each