The market has gained a many new products to aid with capturing software requirements through wireframes and prototypes. While this is great, a conversation I had today with Vernalis Systems about their approach to drive business improvement via technology. We got into a discussion about wire framing and the importance in the beginning to keep it simple because you are iterating through concepts to understand business needs and to create effective design. Later in the day I rand across an interesting article in Fast Company by Matthew May discussing the design of the FedEx logo. This iconic logo was created by Lindon Leader and here is the key point: “I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity”.
Too often UIs, like “requirements” docs in general get crammed with everything including the kitchen sink. While your organization may not have great human factors specialists or designers, putting this concept of simplicity and clarity at the heart of your design will lead to great foundation for project success and improving the usability of our software. This concepts maps well against the concepts of Pretotyping and Minimal Viable Product. This is not to discount the value of a good designer and it is key that you end up with Viable not “barely good enough”. Take time to iterate through ideas and keep them simple without getting hung up on polish, that will come later.