Virtual Design Walls?


Design Wall

Some of you may not have heard of design or project walls, they have been around for a while in various disguises like design cubicles,  design studios, information radiators, UX walls and the like.

This is where you can spread your UX artefacts,  your documentation of the project and the principles of the design out onto a wall for all to see.    You can put on the wall your key points from user research, map user stories, card sorts, inspirational competitors designs, task stories,  task flows and maps, afffinity diagrams, persona, storyboards, sketches, wireframes, feature lists,  burndown chart and so on; you get the idea.

It’s all on the wall physically in front of you, it’s really easy to see the big picture at a glance.

This technique presents a very transparent view of the project which can be review by the team, the client’s executive or anyone walking past with easy.   In fact it’s ideal for the client to comment and annotate a design wall.

Yes these walls can take up a lot of space, which is an issue I always have.   However you can use temporary foam-core walls, or put up wrapping paper sheets on the wall.  I recommend wrapping paper over butchers paper as it has higher weight and it’s tougher, and easier to get on large wholesale rolls.  You can also take down the wall, and roll it up and set them up at the client’s site.

Going Remote

Now this is great if the client is in the same city as you are.  But what happens when they aren’t.   We have remote research, remote prototypes, distributed teams, so can we do a remote design wall, a virtual design wall so to speak.

No I don’t have solution for this, yet.   So maybe you can help me:

Is there way to do a remote design wall?

Ideally we want something that is:

  • Easy to use, almost a drag and drop method of construction for putting items on the wall.
  • The ability to zoom in and out of the wall to see all the features on it.
  • Lots of space, so you can scroll the page vertically or horizontal
  • The ability to annotate, comment,  and scribble on the wall.
  • Time stamping items as they are added, so you have an audit trail.
  • Secure, password protect.

Now you can get online mood boards, and client sign-off facilitators, but what we really want it something where you can see the wall in it’s entirity on your screen and can zoom in on a specific  examine aspect of it.   What we need is an online prezi presentation application as a design page.

So what do you think, is it possible, or is there something already in place? Is there a virtual design wall online service?

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