Jacklyn Burgan

Jacklyn Burgan on lean UX, rapid prototyping and design for startups


“EVERYTHING is UX branding

A quotable quote which from the Lean UX conference which was produced and hosted by Will Evans, at NYU.

The Lean Ready team at Rapid Moon caught up with Jacklyn Burgan, interaction designer at Turner Broadcasting and a self confessed UXer. Jacklyn runs playful pixel and is championing the Ladies that UX group in the Big Apple.

  • RM: How important is responsive design? Should companies ensure that their designs are responsive from day 1?

JB: Every day, more and more devices are accessing your website with different screen sizes and resolutions; there is no way to account for each one, the only thing they have in common is the need for an optimal user experience and the only way to ensure that is through responsive design. Supporting multiple devices with this design approach is future friendly, it’ll save time, money and frustration in the long run if you attack the design problem this way from the beginning.

So, yeah, responsive design is important – probably one of the most important decisions you can make when starting a new project.

  • RM: When you build prototypes, do you build the most pressing feature first OR do you build all possible features in the product and then show it to the intended users?

JB: When I build a prototype, I’m usually testing a few key things:

  • first, can this technology handle what I need it to do?
  • second, does this flow make sense
  • and third, what steps or actions can be removed to streamline the process more?

I rarely build a prototype with a full feature set because I need confirmation that I’m on the correct path before committing. I conduct user research, synthesize those findings into user needs, create user stories and features, then prioritize them.

Then, I’ll choose which features need to be built in order for users to understand the process. Once I get there, I run it by a few users; implement the feedback that makes sense to implement; then run it by more people.

I would argue that building all possible features into a prototype isn’t really a prototype.

  • RM: Do you advice startups to first design on paper (sketch) or directly design low fidelity prototypes on screen?

JB: Every company, every team, every person and every project is different.

When I’m working on something new, I get my team into a room and start whiteboarding ideas with them. Each aspect of the team is represented: development, QA and the business analyst. This way, we can all collaborate and try to break processes and designs down.

It can be difficult, but the whole team then has ownership and has contributed to the design process. Once we finish our whiteboard session, I snap some photos of the boards on my phone and go back to my desk to build the design in Axure, PhotoShop or HTML – whatever is needed for that stage of the project at that time.

  • RM: What has been the impact of Rapid Prototyping on your work? Has it made you more productive/ are the clients able to take decisions faster?

JB: It’s been really great – it’s cheap and easy to get ideas in front of customers both on paper and HTML.

A lot of the time, it ends up speeding up the entire process because decisions are made quicker and customers want to contribute more. However, there are times when I’ve run into trouble with prototypes that are too low fidelity and I need to create something better, more complex and I have to get developers involved anyway.

This happens sometimes, but it’s still better to validate ideas upfront as much as possible before committing to development.

Interviewing Jacklyn has been an absolute pleasure. The ‘execution level’ details that she has shared have a massive advantage for all UXers out there.

Image Credit: http://playfulpixel.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/speaking.png

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