Fail Early and Often

"Fail early and often in order to succeed sooner." This is beginning to be the theme for me as I continue to work on the Healthy Aging project.  This week I drew out (literally) a prototype of how the website might function and how it may look.  I got the idea to do this from Doug Solomon, our visitor from the week before, who talked about how they did this while developing new software.  The best part is that if something clearly doesn't work, then I can just crumple up one piece of paper and draw an alternative.  Hopefully this will be worthwhile in helping mold the design even though there isn't a physical product yet, and I still have a lot of feedback I want to collect!

"Perfect" is the enemy of "good."  Two people said this to me independently last week; my Healthy Aging mentor, Dr. Josh Sclar, and my Dad.  It was weird, since I hadn't heard this saying before, and suddenly I heard it from two people for very different reasons.  I decided to look it up and found that the origins go back to Voltaire in 1770 and has been echoed by many since then.  My favorite reinterpretation is the idea of the 80-20 rule-which hypothesizes that typically 20% of the time can lead to 80% completion of a task, while the remaining 20% will take 80% of the effort.

Although Design Thinking and failing early and often may not fix the 80-20 challenge, I believe it does allow for maximum efficiency on the back end.  By prototyping and showing the users the product, we make sure that the efforts towards completing the final 20% are used in ways that directly improve user experience.  

I am far from being 80% done with the Healthy Aging project, but I think that these two concepts are important to hold on to.  Too many times have I tried over and over again to find that perfect final touch for a thought, and by the time I figure out it out, the conversation has moved on.  Vulnerability is key so that we may try, try again.