We all know what constitutes a “deliverable”, right? An artefact we hand off to a team down the line, or to the stakeholders themselves. Did you know that most of your deliverables should not be considered as sacred as most designers consider them to be?
Let's Get it StraightWireframes, journey maps, site maps, diagrams, those are all thinking tools. They are not deliverables, and you should not treat them as such, unless you have a really valid reason to spend your client's budget on them. These things are not final versions of anything. They are visual aids to our thinking process, and this is why they shouldn't be considered to be deliverables. We've never, ever in the history of Superawesome delivered a set of wireframes to a client, and built the final version of whatever it is that we were building to be 1-1 with the wireframe. We've never created a content map for a new website, that wasn't changed in some way during the design process. The phase during which these things are produced is simply too early in the design process, for a designer to be coming to final decisions on anything. This is why every asset you produce in the lo-fi phase of the design process should be considered an iteration at best. It should simply be an artefact cataloguing your thinking at a certain point in time. Nothing else. At Superawesome, we don't even call, nor consider them a “deliverable”. We don't even show them to stakeholders unless they are relevant to making a business decision.
So, What's the Problem?Going hi-fi on an asset that's meant to change is a waste of time. No point in arguing it. Let's take the following scenario as an example. You have onboarded a new client with a new project, and the goal is to design a website. You've divided the project into phases like so:
- Phase 1: ideation
- Phase 2: UI design
- Phase 3: front-end development
- You go ahead and try to explain how “design is just kind of like that”, and pray to god they have understanding for the hefty chunk of budget you've spent on making a pretty deliverable that is now worthless.
- You go back and redo the work according to the deliverables from phase 1, work around the issues, and pass on the opportunity you found out about in the process.