UX driven development
My colleague, James Horgan, shared with me the idea of a UX driven development process. The essence is; to have information architecture carried out and followed shortly by wireframes design. Wireframes are developed and signed off as early as possible in the process. I think this is a simple yet effective idea for UX oriented projects like web applications.
This is not a new technique. Multimedia company has been doing similar technique for ages by creating mockups also very early in the stage (often in pre-sales).
The key difference here is the focus on wireframes instead of mockups. Wireframe is an excellent communication artifact to the stakeholders, which (unlike mock ups) provide higher tolerance to changes. It manages the stakeholder's expectation to something tangible yet may be opened for further discussions. This is important to maintain a team's agility in dealing with change of requirement, etc.
Not only that, I believe wireframe could potentially be an excellent tool to achieve a more accurate estimations on the task at hand.
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