Fast Design = Good Design

Dan Harrelson  

November 17, 2006

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Joshua Porter wrote a terrific article about Netflix and their Fast Iteration process. Since UIE is more of a design and user experience shop, the article focuses primarily on creative designers, but I think that the concepts apply equally to developers. At Extractable, we are always trying to move away from a classic waterfall process and towards a more agile/iterative process with each new project.

So how often does Netflix update its site? Every 2 weeks.

Every 2 weeks they make significant changes. They understand that some of the changes will work, but most won’t.

At first, this sounds like a frustrating design constraint. In talking with the team, we realized that it doesn’t frustrate them at all. Instead, it frees them up to be flexible and adaptive, so they can react effectively to customer needs. As a result, they don’t deal with the many “when we redesign” issues that so many of us deal with in the design world. They’re building for the present — all the time.