When starting a project, it is easy for us to gather up a shopping list of goals, wants, needs, and ideas. We may say “I want a chat room, a product configurator, a calendar, a blog, a forum,…” – you get the idea. In fact this list is a great component when within the discovery and defining process. The more information and ideas we can put on paper, the better. But this is shopping list. It is a list of ingredients that don’t necessarily relate to each other. We buy ingredients to create a meal. There are a lot of ingredients we like but we must understand the that not all good ingredients can be put together to create a great meal. We choose ingredients that have their own unique flavors, textures, and colors, that intermingle to form the perfect tasting meal. This same idea can be applied within training, educational, and marketing applications. It is important that we not only define and develop the individual components, but how these components work together to form a comprehensive, cohesive experience.
When we make a meal we pay attention to how it tastes. We make adjustments to the ingredients to make the next meal even better. Metrics, or measurements do the same for your applications. We don’t make a meal and not wonder what people think of it. We don’t give it to someone and not ask how it tasted. The process continues past the development of your application. Use it yourself, find out what others think, and review the analytics.
If we focus both bottom-up and top-down, explore ideas that are detailed while stepping back to review the big picture, there will be no stopping our pursuit in creating more engaging, better measurable, and more delicious applications.