Best Wireframing Practices.. Who is responsible?

practice

#1

Hello,

I am currently responsible for leading a team to develop and deliver IT solutions (UI/UX) and I would appreciate your advice to get me on the right track to developing the work plan for my the team.

Are sketches/mockups or wireframes delivered by Business Analysts or UX Team? Currently, we create the wireframes based on a Detailed Requirements Specification Document (DRS) produced by the BA team. Frequent iterations to the interactive wireframes are helpful to better understand the business requirements. Once the wireframes are approved, then we’ll move to the design stage.

Please share your ideas. Let me know the best practice from experts.

Thanks.


#2

hi @info01
good question!
Unfortunately, as far as I’m concerned, the only answer I can give you is: it depends on context in which you are.

Basically I can describe you three scenarios in which I was personally involved, as UX designer and as lead designer team:

  1. I have worked for companies where the product design process was entirely under responsibility of the design team. In this context, the team was made by UXs, UIs and front-end developers. Project managers and business anlysts were responsible for defining project effort and time and draw hi-level solution for the customer.

  2. I worked for companies where the product design process was shared responsibility between the design team and other stakeholders. In this case, often, some deliverables (eg. Personas, card-sorting and wireframes) were delivered independently from PMs and BAs. The role of the design team was to integrate these deliverables and the specific knowledge such as, user-experience, accessibility and interaction design. The end result was a hi-fi prototype created for usability testing and sales speeches

  3. I worked for companies where the design team was involved almost exclusively in the part of the customer support. The product / service was packaged in a standard way for all customers. Afterwards, depending on the required level of customization, the design team was involved in helping the client to the requirements implementation. In this case the customer on average provided a medium-high level deliverables such as user journeys, information architecture maps and pixel perfect mockups

I found particularly interesting and exciting work in the context # 2. In this scenario, the product design process was the main actor since the beginning, I have to admit that the three cases described are three different businesses. I could not tell whether a change in methodology would benefit in terms of quality of UX.

Have a great day


#3

To a certain extent, wireframing will always be a collaborative effort between the UX team and the rest of the business as a whole. In that sense, no single person is responsible for producing good wireframes. A good UX professional will pull the necessary stakeholders into the wireframing process to ensure that all business requirements are being met. This is where a collaborative and iterative process really helps out. By running new ideas by stakeholders at different points in the design process you’ll find that you’re able to gauge quality and problem-solve much more easily than you might expect with more of a “waterfall” approach.

As far as who’s responsible for actually producing the wireframe documentation, @dopamino has nailed the real-world challenges with answering this question. I’d add only that, in an ideal world, the UX team is producing wireframe documentation for the development team that has been well-vetted and reviewed by stakeholders (both internal and external). In the end, the designers (both UI and UX) should have final responsibility of creating and understanding the in-depth issues surrounding any design, and should be able to present the design and speak knowledgeably on the subject.