Rapid Iterative Design: A Minimalist Approach to Requirements Gathering and Interface Design

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Beth Snapp
Team Lead, Web and Data Solutions, Ohio State University, Arts and Sciences

She wins on the longest title so far :)

Rapid Iterative Minimalist Agile!

Or, Rapid Iterative Design.

  • More time writing code. Less time writing documentation.
  • Manifesto for Agile Software Development: Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Just enough documentation is just perfect.
  • Collaboration is Key – Creates less need to write stuff down.
  • And then get to something real right away.


You probably only need 3-5  short personas.

  • Composites of your users.
  • They become virtual members of your team.
  • Need backgrounds and motivations.
  • You need to be able to feel empathy from your users.


  • Narratives of real situations.
  • What does the system need to do with the user?
  • What questions arise?

User Stories

Put together Personas and Scenarios

  • What not how.
  • Short statements of functionality
  • As a <persona> I want to <task>, so that <goal> (on sticky notes)

Paper Prototyping

More then a sketch.

If you sit me down in front of a done system – it means that you really don’t care about my feedback.

Build the system completely, but only a few features. Then go back and add more features.

Paper prototypes ARE the documentation!

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