This post was originally published at the Protoshare Community blog and also appears on the Sametz Blackstone blog. Protoshare has been an invaluable tool in helping ensure the websites my team develops truly meet our clients’ needs and expectations. I’ve recently been asked to serve as a member of Protoshare’s Product Advisory Board.
We’ve all been there. You’ve considered all the requirements, spent quality time with your whiteboard, consulted with colleagues, even muttered to yourself while walking the dog.
It’s time to conquer a particularly thorny area of a client’s new website.
You develop a prototype, and over the following days, weeks, and months, you poke it, prod it, tear it down, and build it back up…only to very closely resemble the prototype you developed in the first place!
When working with clients on complicated areas of a new website—whether it a be a multi-faceted product table for a financial services company or an index of programs and departments for a major university—we start by developing an initial approach the client can take around the block a few times. And more often than not, we end up right where we started.
It may sound like a waste of time, but it isn’t. This process enables the client to “try on” different permutations of their site; exploring what doesn’t work is just as important as learning what does.
Critical to a successful website project is ensuring the process remains collaborative, interactive, and efficient. ProtoShare, as a cloud-based prototyping tool, allows clients to experience their prototype at a high-enough fidelity to draw real conclusions: “reviewer mode” allows clients (and test users) to initiate conversations about particular elements of the prototype, and the “multiple design” feature makes it easy to archive previous iterations. Ending where you started is just a click away.
In the end, this process gives our clients what they need to move ahead with confidence. And with a tool like ProtoShare, people like us can remain efficient (and calm!) as we circle the solution with our clients.