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Remote Work Tools


  • Diagram the activity steps to be taken by users, from the users’ points of view first.

    • CAUTION: The critical factor is to diagram users’ behavior before diagramming technological implementation details.

    • CAUTION: Diagram user activities, not user screens.

    • TIP: For best results, also diagram activities performed by the users outside your system, before, during, and after the time they interact with your system.

  • Diagram both external users and internal/employee users.

    • CAUTION: Diagram external users’ activities first, even if they don’t use your system. Then diagram the activities of your employees in support of your external users, even if employees don’t use the system.

  • Diagram the architecture of your system.

  • Include decision points and trace multiple logic paths in diagrams, including edge cases.

  • Create these diagrams collaboratively with the entire team; review with all stakeholders.


T2.1 Visualize Customer Experiences




  • Confusion

  • Defects (Bugs)

  • Disgruntled Employees

  • Impediments & Delays

  • Lack of Communication

  • Late-breaking Requirements

  • Low Output

  • Rework

  • Siloed “Not My Job” Thinking

  • Unhappy Stakeholders

Problems Experienced Without These Practices

Remote Work Tools

  • Wireframing

  • Design Thinking

  • Set-Based Design

  • Cone of Uncertainty

  • 3D Printing


  • Create low-quality, fast outlines of the components to show the organization of content and simulate usability.

    • WARNING: Users will not be able to remember everything that they need, but they can more easily see what’s missing.

  • Test multiple prototype options side-by-side at the same time whenever possible.

    • CAUTION: Change the order of your prototype options between test subjects to help counteract bias; often the first option presented influences opinions about options presented later.

  • Delay graphic design; focus on elements that affect usability first.

    • CAUTION: Late-breaking user needs often result in significant rework, if graphic design decisions are made too early.

  • Create prototypes of components that users will interact with first; tackle infrastructure design in later iterations.

    • CAUTION: Late-breaking user needs often result in significant rework, if infrastructure is decided too early.

  • Whenever possible, show prototypes to actual users for feedback.


T2.2 Iterative Prototyping

Remote Work Tools


  • Identify, research, and make decisions concerning any design decisions, in the problem to be solved or the chosen solution, that could affect the work of others.

  • Unknown information comes in two categories: things that you know are unknown (“known unknowns”), and things that you don’t yet know that you don’t know (“unknown unknowns”).

    • WARNING: The most dangerous unknowns are the unknown unknowns.

    • TIP: The research of the “known unknowns” usually uncovers many of the “unknown unknowns”.


T2.3 Unknowns First

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