ProtoShare Helps DigiKnow Implement Agile-like Methods in their Process

“What really made this project work well is that we got to validate the design with some of our client's users.”

Derek Oyen
Senior User Interface Designer, Digiknow

Background

Consistently recognized as one of the world’s top interactive agencies, DigiKnow focuses on the end user to develop website marketing strategies for companies. With offices located in Cleveland, Ohio and Buenos Aires, Argentina, DigiKnow provides creative, strategic, and technical services to some of the largest companies in the world. Their mission is to “blend creativity with technical expertise to help clients capitalize on opportunities and solve problems.”

Challenge

In previous years, DigiKnow incorporated the traditional waterfall process when working on a project with clients. Once a project came in, a few select people would go through the specifications and develop a high-level scope of work. Next, another group would put together a more detailed, functional level of specs then create some basic, static wireframes to communicate the project information.

However, within the past year, DigiKnow has been implementing an iterative, Agile-like process. Instead of a front-loaded method, the project planning trickles down into the execution phase. To fully engage in this new process, the company began to search for a product that enabled interactive prototyping while providing good reusable wireframe templates for sharing across multiple projects.

Why Use ProtoShare?

DigiKnow researched many different wireframing and prototyping tools on the market. “We also looked at a lot of tools that provided collaborative online environments and ultimately decided on ProtoShare. It has a nice feature set and the price was right,” Derek Oyen, Senior User Interface Designer, says. Since discovering ProtoShare, Oyen’s team has more consistently incorporated interactive prototypes into their development and design projects. Recently, they had a project that allowed them to really test out ProtoShare’s capabilities.

A building products company approached DigiKnow with an outdated, non-user friendly online application. DigiKnow was tasked to completely redesign the interface, but leave the final development stages to the client. “We started with interactive wireframes in ProtoShare and used them with the client to help them understand the AJAX interactions and the controls that we would be using on pages. We had partial page loads, full page loads, and all the different components of the page in the prototype,” shares Oyen. “What really made this project work well is that we had to validate the design with some of our client’s users.”

Results

“We received some great insights from the prototype that we would not have been able to get in the traditional way of wireframing with other tools or a PDF document. Sure, you can do paper prototyping with those, but they don’t give you the same engagement and quality feedback that you do from the computer by clicking through the site,” says Oyen. “Without ProtoShare, in order to get an equivalent experience for user testing, we would have had to develop HTML prototypes that would have taken twice as long.”

Once the user testing was complete, DigiKnow made revisions to the prototype and sent it to the designers. The designers laid out the screen based on the work in ProtoShare. The design files and final prototype links were then sent to the building products company to develop. Access to their prototype allowed the client to carry through the vision that DigiKnow created. Oyen recalls this as one of their most successful interface redesigns to date.