A few years ago I was asked to work with a company I had previously had loyalty with. To say it was a dream opportunity was an understatement.
Being brought in as a UX Designer would mean I take the requirements of the business, and convert them into wireframes, screen flows and technical specifications. Then I would put this together as documentation for the Development Team. Weeks would pass by, and eventually what would be deployed was not what anyone was expecting.
The result is a stand off. A time consuming stand-off in a beautiful anamorphic format. Project delays, required re-work to the interface, unexpected transitional behaviours and overall an integration that did not meet the internal expectations of the company. What was once a promising project has deflated team with resentment on both sides.
Why is this Bad?
When User Experience suffers, the brand reputation suffers.
Many would point the finger at inadequate prototyping tools. Sending a series of interface screens fashioned in photoshop and shipped without discussion of how each would interact can damage a project in so many ways.
It’s a great way of managing expectations. Years ago, when I worked as a front-end developer, I would be sent gorgeous interface designs. At the time, I had to develop in support of IE6, and at times it was not possible to use a particular font. These are the small considerations that graphic-designers-turned-web-designers may not always be aware of (though awareness of the limitations of the web is definitely increasing)
In the days of responsive layouts, it’s the only reliable way to demonstrate how each screen will be presented on the ever increasing variety of devices.
As part of user testing, being able to physically fill out a form, or use a image-zoom tool for real is something that you will never get from pushing pixels in Photoshop.