I recently read a post about rules for developers working on their user experience. One rule was to code as a last resort. Since I am working on a redesign of a very complex part of Truth Scale I thought I would try and follow this rule. It was a little late because this is a re-design but it was a good opportunity to test out some changes and make sure the basic were really working.
I sat down with my wife and chose a topic to run through the Truth Scale process but we used sticky notes on the dining room table instead of code. We literally sat down and wrote the main topic down on a sticky. We wrote out each pro and con for that topic on separate stickies. We did pros and cons for some of the previous pros and cons. My wife pointed out a fact that was more important than the other facts so we added a multiplier. That was the new feature I was trying to add. We did the math with my phone and discussed the results. It was a great way to quickly think through the process deeply. I could feel the need for my new feature as it organically came up in a real example. I could see that it would work but does not always feel real satisfying. I could also see that being able to quickly move facts from one location to another is a very important feature.
I leaned all of this in less than 30 minutes. I wish I had done this before I wrote any code.
Have you ever done a paper experiment like this? How did it go?