04 May 2017
Designing the Publish.org service – part 3
By Dean Vipond
This is the third of my posts on the Publish.org design process. We previously covered research,tasks, interaction and visual design. Now we're onto the next step.
Prototype design and production
By now, we knew what we were going to make, a rough idea of how people could participate with Publish.org, and how the site/service would look and feel. It was time to make a prototype that will let people try out certain parts of the service, and give us feedback on their experiences. I also plan to run some observational testing – watching people use the prototype, and see where things can be improved.
We brought on an experienced designer/developer, the excellent Rich Jones to build a component library, that would allow us to assemble all the screens we’ll need quickly and efficiently. A component library acts a bit like a model kit, letting Dan put together different combinations of elements (e.g. a block of text, some buttons, and a photograph) to make a web page. It will also allow us to respond quickly to outcomes from user testing of the prototype, and reorganise elements or build brand new pages, without having to go back to the drawing board.
We want to see how people react to the different parts of the service. Writing pitches, posting drafts of early work, conducting peer review on each other’s work – all of this contributes to a system that allows for the collaborative, transparent production of journalism, that keeps journalists in control of their work, but with insights and support from the Publish community.
So now, we’re in the final stages of preparing the prototype, before inviting people to come and try it out. Design is a constant process; it’s never ‘finished’. I’m really excited about the next stage – putting the prototype in people’s hands, seeing how they use it, and making improvements before our ‘official’ launch in June.