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I have set-up a no-profit UX work-group with about 13 active members in Brisbane called AppsMockups.

The idea is to collectively retro-engineer one popular application at a time like Tinder or WhatsApp by using myBalsamiq to mockup the screens - and sharing them on the web once completed.

It's simple in principle, like if I were to do it by myself it'd be easy but I don't have a clear approach on how to work on the same application with +10 people yet.

The process I have in mind so far is:

  • Take screenshots of all the app screens (to work on the same app version) and upload them on a shared dropbox folder
  • Create the IA (all the group)
  • Create mockups for all the screens (assignment for the week. One or more screen per person? reviewed during our meetup)
  • Once all the screens have been sketched into balsamiq, group the screens into workflows (should these be identified by the group after the IA phase?)
  • Final review of the project: write comments on the single screens and on the workflows (group discussion)
  • Publication and poll about the next app to map

Do you think it's a correct approach? How can I split the tasks in a way that everyone is busy both during our weekly meetup and at home when working on personal assignments?

Thanks, Luca

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It is an interest concept for a group, but I think your divide and conquer approach, with individual group members working on different screens, leaves a valuable opportunity unrealized.

If, instead, you had all of your group members work on the same screen (or group of screens) seperately but simultaneously. Then when you gather back together, compare each of your creations and pick the best traits from each. At the midpoint of the meeting, having finished the comparative review, start modifying one of the mockups till it reflects all of the best ideas which you collectively identified.

Do this weekly until the entire app has been elevated to greatness! Then post it to the web.

  • I believe your approach is the best for a generative process (e.g. the ideation of a new screen or task), but remember that at that stage we will be simply copying an existing screen - there won't be that many differences between the members' versions. The task here is not to be accurate but to be fast.. ideally the group should be able to map the screens of a small/med app in one week (up to 35/40 screens) by assigning 2 or 3 screens each. – Luca De Angelis Jan 21 '15 at 1:23
  • I totally misunderstood the purpose of your group. I assumed that each member was trying to stretch their creative muscles and UX style. It seems that instead, you are each trying to master balsamiq and/or an assembly-line design process. Please clarify your question so that others don't make the same mistake that I did. Best of Luck with your venture. – Henry Taylor Jan 21 '15 at 1:54
  • Oh I see, I'm sorry I thought it was clear enough but I take your point and I'll edit the post. – Luca De Angelis Jan 21 '15 at 23:17
  • The problem is that the group is not composed by professionals. I can't simply ask to do everything alone, it'd be a mess. The purpose is to learn by doing but also to document and publish the app's mockups. I am sure that if we are coordinated we can achieve and learn so much more in a short time than if there was total anarchy ;) The screens would still be drawn independently and the discussions would be done within the group. – Luca De Angelis Jan 21 '15 at 23:36

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