A question was recently raised in a group on LinkedIn regarding UI Design. The question was if BAs should be doing UI design. While some BAs may be capable of doing UI design based on previous experience, I don’t believe complete UI design should rest on the BAs shoulders. I do however, think they should provide a starting point for the UI designer/development team.
Here’s my response from that posting:
In my experience, as the BA, I have created screen mock-ups as part of my requirements package – usually included in the business requirements document or sometimes as part of the use cases. These are not wireframes, but basic mock ups so the UI designer and/or developers know the basics of what needs to be on the screen. I use Balsamiq as my mock-up tool.
These are reviewed with the business and with the mock-ups, you only have the basics – what data should display on the screen, how (drop-down list box, buttons, tables, etc.), and where it should be. The style and color is not included in the mock-ups, so the business focuses strictly on reviewing what we are displaying on the screen, in what format, and the location of the data on the screen.
You don’t get into “I don’t like that color” or “the font needs to be bigger”. The mock ups allow the business to focus on what you need them to at that point – are we displaying what you expected and displaying it where you expected it? Adjustments can be done based on feedback before it gets to the UI designer, costing less to make the adjustments at this point in the project.
Style comes in later during the UI design and should follow the current style guide for your existing application, or if this is a new app, the style should be defined as part of the UI design process.
When the UI design has been completed and the business partners are reviewing it, sign off and approval should come much quicker and easier because they already reviewed the initial mock-ups.