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Articles : Agile, Multidisciplinary Teamwork
on 2008/1/18 13:00:00 (10590 reads)


Capturing ideas with Wallware

Wallware comprises of cards in different shapes and colours that are fastened to the wall with blue-tack. In workshops, we use Wallware by noting each idea in large letters on a card using wide-tip pens. These cards are hung up on a wall under appropriate headings (goals, users, benefits, requirements, etc.). At regular intervals, the ideas are sorted and grouped, structuring them as much as possible. When the session is over, the end-result is documented using a digital camera. The content of photographs is used to document the proceedings, decisions and results from workshop.

Figure 1 Wallware

The wall serves as a workspace, thereby ensuring that the ideas are visible to all the participants in the workshop. One portion of the workspace is assigned as a "parking-lot" so that ideas outside of the scope of the process can be effectively parked.

UI - Magnetic User Interface

Instead of using abstract models, our approach has been to visualise solutions using web pages as a metaphor – the solution to every problem is a web page! This visualisation technique is described in detail earlier (Ghosh 1999)

Design-suggestions for each web page are drawn in workshops using MUI elements on the whiteboard. The team modifies each web page making sure that there is agreement about the contents and navigation scheme for each page. Navigational details are noted in the margins outside the MUI page. Finally each page is documented by photographing it with the digital camera.


Figure 2 - A typical MUI prototype

The Magnetic User Interface (MUI) toolkit is made up of components that are printed onto a magnetic metal sheet. The toolkit contains a web browser, buttons with predefined texts (OK, Cancel, Print, Save, etc) and screen components like drop-down lists, check boxes and radio-buttons.

The components are to scale and can be used on a 120cmx90cm whiteboard (most whiteboards are larger – thus letting us use superfluous area on the board for comments). By visualising screen components, workshop participants can make realistic decisions about the solution. It is important to encourage and permit the team-members to participate in the design process by letting them move things around if they want to, since this often leads to the revelation of details that might have been otherwise overlooked.

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