83 reputation
16
bio website sreebhandaram.com
location Washington, DC
age 28
visits member for 2 years, 2 months
seen Sep 25 '12 at 18:17

User Experience Designer and enthusiast of all things web


Sep
7
comment Should wireframes or functional requirements be created first?
"I think having functional documentation drive design decisions before even seeing how that interaction works and feels is really a disaster waiting to happen and will only result in many more iterations than normal." - Exactly! It's hard for most clients to visualize a 100-page functional requirements document without actually seeing it in action! It helps them a great deal to actually see the wireframes and other interactions. At my agency, we have our clients review and leave detailed comments on the wireframes. Once everything is hashed out, we update the FRD and get a signoff.
Sep
7
comment Should wireframes or functional requirements be created first?
You make a great point, "The nice thing about the written requirements is that they can be used to prevent the ambiguity that is inherent in a mockup". That is one of the many uses of the FRD at my agency. We use it to get a signoff on all the features, functions and details of the website from the client. Sometimes the clients do ask additional questions that they have not thought of before and it helps all of us decide what is in scope and what is not. Having this signoff before jumping into development saves everybody time, effort, confusion and more importantly. $'s!
Sep
7
comment Should wireframes or functional requirements be created first?
I agree with you and we do that in our web dev process as well, our requirements definitely come before the wireframes. The functional requirements document I was talking about specifically details how design features are implemented via code and so it makes sense that our wireframes inform or add more detail to our functional requirements document.
Sep
7
comment Should wireframes or functional requirements be created first?
Great response! I had all these thoughts in mind but you hit the nail on the head. I agree, a term like FRD can definitely be ambiguous and answering the questions like you mention above helps a great deal in hashing out the scope and purpose of the document at the very beginning of a project. In our web dev process, the definition of an FRD is 2. constraints on the implementation of a particular design solution and it makes best sense for us to have the wireframes add additional detail to the FRD. Thanks!
Sep
7
comment Should wireframes or functional requirements be created first?
Marjan - As Justin replied below, the term 'Functional Requirements' is quite ambiguous and I was referring to a Functional Requirements Document that is typically created to ensure that internal teams like UX, Design, Development are all on the same page about the functionality the website. Before we start the wireframing phase, we conducted a lot of user research that identifies the functions or features for different sections of a website. Also, this research informs the Functional Requirements Document to a certain extent.
Sep
7
comment Should wireframes or functional requirements be created first?
Thank you for the response Aadaam. I agree, there is no first or last. In our approach to web design, the FRD typically "starts" way before we are in the wireframing phase. New information is constantly added throughout the user research phase as we glean more information about the target audiences and their needs. I was curious how others typically approach this chicken and egg problem. Do you finish your FRD, get a signoff from the client and then proceed to the wireframing phase? or do you create wireframes, get a signoff on them and then finish up the FRD?