We're now half way through the April Assignation of TiddlySpace – a week long review of where we are with the project, how we plan to move forward and general open discussion around how we can improve.
Spending a week on a review such as this may seem to some like a prolonged activity and something that could be done in a day, others may feel that its not long enough! However, I think with the approach that we're taking its proving to be just about right. Although a thoroughly exhausting process!
All the notes from the review are public and online, although they may not be so meaningful to people who've not participated in the discussion. At the end of the week you can expect some form of meaningful summary.
On day one we discussed as a team how each of us are using TiddlySpace, what we thought TiddlySpace ought to be, and which things we don't like about TiddlySpace.
It may seem strange to be having these types of discussions at this stage of a project however by its very nature TiddlySpace can be many things to different people and in addition some of the recent client projects we've taken on have shifted the product in varying directions. In itself none of this is a bad thing.
Moving into day two we each reviewed our thoughts from the previous day and individually had an attempt at producing a mock up of how we each saw a new homepage to look. A quick review at the end of the day showed that there were some strong common themes (as one might expect) but also some varying approaches. For example, from my perspective as someone who mainly speaks to non-developer potential consumers of the product I'd focused less on the technology, where as others were slightly more geared to a developer-ish audience ...although not as much as I'd expected before the start of the week.
Today, day three we met again as a group and performed a mini retrospective of the first day, as well as performed a critic of the day two outputs. We made progress in realising what TiddlySpace might become and who its potential audience was. By the end of the week the goal is to have a firm understand as to the immediate goal of TiddlySpace and to be able to communicate that in a way which is meaningful not just to Osmosoft or existing users, but also to anyone who happened to stumble upon our work.
The process of breaking up the group work with periods of individual working I believe has made this week more productive than it might have been. As a group its been great to throw some ideas around, hear about different peoples perspectives but ultimately that's been a lot of talking. Being able to spend time as an individual putting ideas down on paper based on what was discussed has been very productive
Day four of the review we're going back to individual working. Time will be split between evolving the mocks ups based upon today's critiquing and also formulating ideas for a firm product description that'll be the basis of our work for the coming months.