Chapter 13. Putting It All Together: The User and Domain Analysis

Putting It All Together: The User and Domain Analysis

As you've been conducting your research and figuring out what it all means, you've probably been having plenty of informal communication with your project owner or other stakeholders. E-mail, hallway conversations, and brief check-ins help everyone feel informed, get necessary support, or review ideas in a low-risk environment. Design team intranets and other shared virtual workspaces can give others easy access to work in progress. However, these informal methods are seldom effective for resolving big issues, and they don't ensure involvement and understanding on the part of the necessary people. More formal communication is an essential part of the design process because it promotes common understanding, shared expectations, and commitment among stakeholders in a way that no other approach can. The "User and Domain Analysis (U&DA, for short) is a critical milestone that helps ensure you have all three before you start designing.

There are several important reasons for formal communication at this point. The first is to have all the relevant stakeholders review your work for potential flaws. Experienced design teams rarely need major corrections, but no one is infallible. Any issues stakeholders can spot now will save you time and grief later. This review is especially important if you've had to compress your research ...

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