software development

The Right Hour, Or Some Nits With Hour Of Code

I'm normally not a fan of RadioLab - it reminds me of baked sophomores trying to be profound - but over the weekend, they had an interesting piece about cooperation. One segment of this piece included a story about an experiment and contest on the prisoner's dilemma.

Building Things on the Int-Arrgh-Nets

Today at Open Source Bridge, Amye Scavarda and I co-presented a session on Thinking Like a Pirate (aka creating solid requirements docs, and how requirements docs help projects succeed).

Our slides are available here:

(As an aside, for those of you who don't know about Open Source Bridge, I'm glad you asked! It's an awesome, open source focused conference that occurs yearly in Portland, Oregon. Read more on their site.)

In our session, we fielded a question about some of the specific tools we use to build requirements docs. One of the things we use is an intake survey focused on design-related topics, and a participant asked if we'd be willing to share it out, to which I replied, "Sure!"

Which in turn meant I needed to make it pretty.

Intake surveys are incredibly useful tools. We generally use them as a way to start communication rolling on a project, and as a way of accomplishing some or all of the following goals:

  • Learn about the organization's design aesthetic and needs;
  • Begin to define a common vocabulary for web design and development;
  • Start the conversations about the relationship between design, site architecture, and user experience;
  • Begin to create the relationship between the communication leads for both stakeholders;
  • Get a sense of the level of research that has gone into the project prior to beginning development; and
  • Get a sense of how the organization responds to requests for information.

Below, I have included the general questions and structure of our intake survey. We vary the questions depending on the nature of the project; for example, if there is no desire to incorporate content rating, we don't ask the client to look at sites that feature content rating.

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