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UI/UX Design Estimation

Planning poker, also known as Scrum poker, is a popular consensus-based technique used in agile software development for estimating the effort or relative size of tasks. But did you know it can be effectively applied to UI/UX design tasks as well? This article dives into how UI/UX design teams can harness the power of planning poker for project estimations, and provides real-life examples to illustrate its use.

1. What is Planning Poker?

Planning poker is a game-like technique where team members individually estimate the effort required for a task using a set of cards. Each card has a number that represents an effort unit (e.g., days or story points). After discussion, team members reveal their estimates simultaneously, ensuring unbiased estimations. Discrepancies in estimates lead to further discussions until the team reaches a consensus.

2. Why Use Planning Poker for UI/UX Design?

  • Collaborative Decision-making: Planning poker promotes team discussions, ensuring that every member’s perspective is considered.
  • Elimination of Biases: Simultaneous card reveals prevent anchoring, where one person’s estimate influences others.
  • Enhanced Accuracy: Collective wisdom often leads to more accurate estimations.

3. How to Use Planning Poker in UI/UX Design:

Step 1: Gather the Design Team
Ensure all relevant team members, including designers, developers, and product managers, are present.

Step 2: Define the Tasks
Break down the design project into individual tasks, like wireframing, prototyping, user testing, etc.

Step 3: Start the Estimation Round
For each task, team members choose a card representing their effort estimation and reveal it simultaneously.

Step 4: Discuss and Re-estimate
If there’s a significant variance in estimates, discuss the reasons and re-estimate until a consensus is reached.

Step 5: Record the Estimate
Once agreed upon, record the estimate for the task and move to the next one.

4. Real-life Examples of Planning Poker in UI/UX Design:

Example 1: Website Redesign
A UI/UX team is tasked with redesigning a corporate website. The tasks are broken down as follows:

  • Wireframing the Homepage: Team members estimate 2, 3, 3, and 5 days. After discussing, they agree on 3 days.
  • Creating a Prototype for User Feedback: Estimates vary between 4 and 6 days. The team settles on 5 days after considering potential user feedback rounds.

Example 2: Mobile App Design
A team is creating a new fitness app. Key tasks include:

  • Designing the User Onboarding Flow: Initial estimates are 3, 4, 4, and 5 days. The team agrees on 4 days after discussing potential complexities.
  • Iterative Testing and Refinement: Estimates range from 5 to 8 days, considering user feedback and iterations. The team settles on 7 days.

5. Tips for Effective Planning Poker in UI/UX Design:

  • Stay Specific: Break tasks down into as much detail as possible.
  • Promote Open Discussion: Encourage team members to share their rationale for their estimates.
  • Limit the Number of Rounds: To avoid fatigue, limit the number of re-estimation rounds for each task.
  • Use a Common Scale: Whether it’s days, hours, or story points, ensure the team uses a consistent unit of estimation.

Conclusion

Planning poker, while traditionally associated with software development, offers immense value to UI/UX design teams. It fosters collaboration, reduces biases, and enhances estimation accuracy, ensuring projects are completed on time and within budget. By integrating planning poker into their workflow, UI/UX teams can make the design process more predictable and efficient.


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