McKinney Reduces Time by Iterating Early in ProtoShare

“You'll always have a bit of Agile-like iterations. However, wireframing gets you to that point a lot less painfully.”

Scott McCall
Interactive Strategist, McKinney

Background

McKinney is a full-service advertising agency in Durham, North Carolina. With over 200 employees and some of the top Fortune 500 companies as clients, McKinney has been a leader in integrating digital strategies since the launch of the 2005 Audi A3 campaign, The Art of the Heist. From TV to print to various digital programs, the team at McKinney understands clients and what they need to do to achieve their branding goals.

Challenge

Growing with talent, McKinney wanted to showcase its ability to integrate clients' advertising media in an appealing and engaging way. To do this, they assigned a project team to redesign the Flash-heavy McKinney.com website. Interactive Strategist, Scott McCall, led the user experience (UX) strategy portion of the team. Not only was this team tasked with creatively and effectively showcasing the agency's work, but also with making the website more mobile-device friendly.

To accomplish the McKinney.com redesign, the team decided to examine their current processes, take the best development techniques from each member’s background and experience, and develop a new, more streamlined, working process.

Why Use ProtoShare?

Familiar with the communication and timesaving benefits of interactive wireframes prior to coding, McCall and his team used ProtoShare for the McKinney.com redesign. Creating a light, interactive prototype prior to conducting an iterative series of design and code sprints, McCall's team developed a variation of the Agile methodology for their development process. By rapidly iterating out the prototype, the team made fewer changes in the development and coding phase, thereby reducing re-work and saving time. As McCall says, "Iterative development is inevitable. For each project, if you want to make the client happy and get [the website] as good as it can be, you'll always have a bit of Agile-like iterations. However, wireframing gets you to that point a lot less painfully."

In choosing ProtoShare, McCall felt that it was the most full-featured application for building prototypes allowing him to sketch out more concise functionality, tabs, and rich interactions. With it his team was able to quickly layout the foundation without needing to code right from the start.

Results

The project team took a user-centered approach to the project. First, they defined their target market and conducted in-depth interviews. Next, they developed a strategy and created personas based on the information gathered. From there they began working in ProtoShare to devise a site map and then created wireframes based on their content inventory. Once they had a solid foundation with their wireframes, they moved into design and code sprints.

"Because of ProtoShare I was able to communicate with our designers, art directors, and the team on what the structure would be. We didn't have to burn the designer's time by trying to sketch out comp after comp to try to come up with the back end. By building from the bottom up instead of the top down, you save time by communicating early the way the functionality will work and there are no surprises at the end. Then when Agile tweaks take over, you can dial it in as opposed to ripping it down and rebuilding it," adds McCall.

The company is both pleased with the outcome of the McKinney.com redesign and excited to help their clients with similar challenges. The website was even recognized by Favourite Web Awards "Mobile of the Day" and Communication Arts "Webpick of the Day" awards for having an enjoyable user interface on both standard and mobile devices.