1. Nice post Alex.

    I was only thinking about this topic again the other day as I was listening to a few designers speak about doing client work. I would say that we did encounter some resistance from the design co. we most recently engaged to the idea of producing multiple concepts. I gather that they worry about clients trying to mix and match parts of different designs and the number of design iterations which will inevitably result. But I do like the idea of asking for one design where the designer has creative freedom. I think that could really help to produce more interesting and exciting intranets.

    Upon reflecting on our experience, one thing that I would suggest becomes a part of all design deliverables is a set of design patterns. It’s one thing to receive your new designs for key page types but inevitably your organisation will be developing the Intranet over time. You need to interpret the designs in new contexts. A design set that includes sample UI elements – grids, buttons, tables, overlays, form elements, etc (similar to Twitter Bootstrap, would be extremely useful and save plenty of development time in the long run.

  2. Thanks for the comments, Martin. I think it’s inevitable too that from multiple designs clients like to mix and match, but it’s a rare designer these days that nails the clients visual design brief with just one concept.

    Also like the idea of patterns. We provide a number of core UI elements for wireframe designs, both custom and standardised. For common information on intranets there is a lot of opportunity to standardise designs and UI elements (e.g tables, as you mention), then spend the bulk of the time really delivering more valuable, bespoke designs and interfaces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Published March 27, 2012

Alex Manchester
Alex Manchester is an alumni of Step Two Designs. He specialises in intranet and enterprise social network research strategy and user experience design. Alex works with a wide range of public and private sector organisations and has over eight years experience in this field.