Crazy ideas need people, otherwise they'll only ever be ideas

Published 02/25/18 by Josh Kim, Project Manager and UX Designer

It wasn’t long before I realized I wasn’t very close to the design work I had imagined I would be doing out of college. That’s normal, of course. The real world of “UX” can be a little messy. There are technical limitations, business-defined timelines, and more unpredictable barriers that can impede a utopian UX gameplan. After spending nearly half a year re-reading and annotating the UX Book by Dr. Rex Hartson I wondered if I would ever get an opportunity to test out the many activities documented in it. And so, I got a crazy idea. Let’s start a digital project that puts the user first. Let’s start a project with realistic deadlines and the full UX cycle from ethnographic inquiry to wireframe iterations and post-analytics. Let’s start a project with good, non-burnt client site coffee. How about the world’s best digital coffee shop experience?

I reached out to a local cafe owner named Jade, who runs a shop called “De Clieu” in the heart of Fairfax. She’s been looking to renovate her website, so the timing worked out perfectly. As much as I wanted to build the website from scratch on my own, I knew it would be far from perfect. Perfection comes through iteration, and iteration is built on the framework of cross-functional teams.

To start, I reached out to my friend Tim and asked for his opinion after providing him the details over text. He bought in, and the two of us sat down and began thinking more. We both agreed we needed more people to support the project, and that sending requests over texts wouldn't be very professional. To address this, I made a system concept statement for the project along with a projected timeline and needed roles/responsibilities. Although limited, this will surely evolve along with the growth of the project- particularly during the contextual inquiry and analysis phase. Once we began pitching the idea to other working professionals we knew, a team began to form.