Make

Create a testable solution.

Sketching

What

A team activity wherein each member sketches 6-8 ideas regarding the project at hand within a 5 minute time limit.

Why

To quickly brainstorm and get ideas for a project.

Time required

5 minutes per session, 15 minutes for discussion.

How to do it

  1. Before the meeting, prepare several sheets of paper with a 2×2 or 2×3 grid. Make sure boxes are large enough to sketch an idea, but not so large that multiple ideas can be put into a single box. Try to have space for at least 10 ideas per round.
  2. When the meeting begins, give each player a sheet and explain how the activity works.
  3. Next, set a timer for 5 minutes.
  4. Tell the players to sit silently and sketch out as many ideas as they can until the timer ends — with the goal of reaching 6-8 ideas. The sketches can and should be very rough — nothing polished in this stage.
  5. When the time runs out, the players should share their sketches with the rest of the group. The group can ask questions of each player, but this is not a time for a larger brainstorming session. Make sure every player presents his/her sketches.
  6. With time permitting, repeat another few rounds of 6-8-5. Players can further develop any ideas that were presented by the group as a whole or can sketch new ideas that emerged since the last round. They can continue to work on separate ideas, or begin working on the same idea. But the 5-minute sketching sprint should always be done silently and independently.

Adapted from Gamestorming

18F

Wireframing

What

A simple visual representation of a product or service interface.

Why

To prioritize substance and relationships over decoration as you begin defining the solution. Wireframing also gives designers a great opportunity to start asking developers early questions about feasibility and structure.

Time required

1-3 hours

How to do it

  1. Build preliminary blueprints that show structure, placement, and hierarchy for your product. Steer clear of font choices, color, or other elements that would distract both the researcher and the reviewer. Lightweight designs are conceptually easier to reconfigure. A few helpful tools for building wireframes are OmniGraffle and Balsamiq, which purposefully keep the wireframe looking like rough sketches.
  2. Use this opportunity to start listing what UX/UI patterns you will need.
  3. Review your wireframes with specific user scenarios and personas in mind. Can users accomplish their task with the wireframe you are sketching out?
  4. Use the wireframes to get the team’s feedback on feasibility and structure.

Applied in government research

No PRA implications. No information is collected from members of the public.

18F