Quick project plan

Making a project plan used to make even experienced people in IT industry a little uncomfortable.However manking the project plan is not so complicated if you focus on the basics of the project elements.The major elements/ingredients of making a good project plan is
Bird eye view of the projects tasks to be carried on diffrent dates

hyenalabs-manager
WBS - Work break up structure
Roles & deliverables


First Step: Divide & Conquer strategy, Have a clear picture about the project.Divide the complete project in diffrent phases if possible.Each phase is now broken down into diffrent activities.If it is possible to break activites into sub activities then do so. Now map the complete chunk of phases to the diffrent dates, map the sub sections to the date available for the phases.Dates can clash as multiple phases can be worked upon by diffrent teams or same teams.

Second Step: Now the main works start-WBS work break down structure. The project is already broken down into phases & phases are broken down into activities.Map the activites to its respective number of resources, type of resource, Man days(Efforts in days).The project specific deliverables can also be shown in the same row of each activity to avoid discrepency in the project plan.
After following second step, We can map WBS as shown below.


 

Third & Final Step: Finally prepare a Team description stating the name, role in the project & the responsiblites for completion of the project.

In this way a UX project plan can be easily made, however it can be used for any project.

Conduct Focus groups

Conducting a Focus group will make you excited in many ways as you need to play the role of a moderator for the discussion, meet new people,get to know many perspectives of an idea, assimilate participants ideas into quantifiable data to be used in projects in a useful manner etc.Moderator is a critical role that will have a Major impact on the success & failure of the Focus group.A Focus group necessarily means a group of people involved in a constructive discussion focusing on a particular topic with the aid of a moderator.A focus group when planned has different phases as follows.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Preparation & Planning phase
This phase is one of the most important in all the phases as it will lead to the decision the selection of the participants,Location for conducting the focus groups,supplementary preparation for tea,coffee breaks,introduction of the focus groups, questions to ask etc.

2. Preparing Questions

The structure of the questions should be from easy first & a little tough later.Avoid framing questions which are difficult to answer for the participants or makes them uncomfortable.A ground research on the participants background - cultural,educational,religion,work will help a long way in framing comfortable & productive answers from the participants.

3. Introduction to participants

Make a short one page introduction note & distribute among the Focus group participants.This note may include the following sections

  • Welcome note: We welcome you for the session to discuss the important/higher end features that should be made available to Travel portal users.Our the Focus group team extends a warm welcome to you, we hope that you will have a great time with us.

  • Schedule: The session will be for 1 hour and it will have the below sessions


Sessions Time

X 10AM

Y 10:30AM
Break 10:30AM to 10:45 AM
Z 10:45 AM to 11:15



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Starting the Sessions & asking questions

Start the session with a quick self introduction & session objective introduction.Ask easy questions first, listen to the participants when they say,encourage them to participate in the discussion.Avoid participants from taking control of the situation in a professional manner, since not all the participants will be taking part actively so they can also get chance to contribute.

5. Take notes & recordings
Take notes while participants are giving their ideas.You can go for recorded sessions with prior permissions form participants either in audio or visual.If you are going for such recording include a disclaimer that the recording is for getting the ideas in a clear manner so any important information is not missed.It will not be shared to third parties.

6. End the focus groups

When you have finished your focus group, thank the participants for taking part and leave a contact name and number in case they wish to follow up any of the issues that have been raised during the discussion.If possible provide them the summary of the report if they want through e-mail at later stages.In the end distribute token of thanks if you have planned for the focus group.

In this way a focus group is being conducted, there may be some variations depending from project to project requirements.

Icons for usability

To convey the user important information & action steps we use icons in our design.This makes the application look asthetic & clean.I have collected some of the images from diffrent web applications & websites to give a wonderful insight into the diffrent patterns that can be used in icons.

Shopping cart icons:
These icons are widely used,their presence indicates that the site incorporates e-commerce engine.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mail
Mail icons are used to convey that a mail needs to be sent, inbox, mail this page to friends etc.


 

 

 

 

 

Print
These icons are used to indicate that the current page can be printed by clicking the icon, in most of the cases the printable version of the page is printed.


 

 

 

Feedback/Comments
These icons you will find in community sites & blogs.You need to write some comments - these icons are saying to you


 

 

Posts/Articles
In blog sites these icons are common however they are also available in articles & research paper websites.


 

 

 

 

Arrows
Mostly arrows are used to put emphasis on a particular section or highlight a point.They are usually used to invoke the user to take action.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bullets
The function of bullets is to highlight the important points,steps, parts etc in the applications.


 

 

 

 

Hope the icons gave you indepth view of how they easily enhance usability in web apps.