CanUX: UX Swimlanes

by Luke Wroblewski November 16, 2008

At CanUX 2008 in Banff, Yvonne Shek described UX swimlane deliverables that help clients understand users, business needs and technology all at once.

ux swimlanes

  • UX swimlanes outline a bird’s eye view of a story, scenario, or component for sponsors, designers, businesses, and engineers.
  • Executive & sponsors: high level comic that illustrates the scenario
  • UX & creative team: flow through steps of a process
  • Business: fulfillment process and business logic
  • Technical team & architects: data systems, back-end technology
  • When to use swim lanes: really early in the project during discovery & strategy stage to get everyone on the same page
  • Helps to get buy-in on the scope of a key scenario or story from stakeholders
  • Focuses on what you are building and why are you building it. Outlines requirements for stakeholders and working team
  • How do we start making swim lanes: start with workshops to set scope (what’s in and what’s out)
  • Flows first: who is user what are their goals, etc.
  • Comics second, business and technical third and at the same time. Work with business analyst & technical team to fill them out.
  • Product manager swim lanes come last: uses cases & features/functions
  • Comics are cool but hard to do. Could use photos, sketches, etc instead.
  • Delivering comics with whole diagram helps bring executives on board. Comics alone may not support the stakeholders
  • Overview of swimlanes
  • Swimlanes example
  • More information & templates