There are some basic models we use to support the quick development of prototypes, while adhering to the principles of agile design and usage-centered design. First, we develop a user profile matrix
that allows the team to more clearly understand the unique tasks and characteristics of each user type for the system. We then develop a presentation model
that documents major decisions about the system like platform, colors, fonts, and overall UI architecture. This model clearly demonstrates the key UI elements and often includes several design renderings, so that everyone can visually validate the design direction. We then move on to develop specific navigation models
that are supported by existing visual design patterns
and the documented use cases for the system under development. To flush out the models, we develop screen layouts
for specific pages of known complexity to validate both the navigation and presentation models. Of course, all of this modeling needs to be supported by a robust set of design standards and guidelines
. This entire process may occur over a period of days or weeks, depending on the scope and complexity of the design project. During this period, we continually refine each of the models and strive for a strong congruency between them.