I got overwhelmed and I grew because of my work with Loaves, Fishes & Computers. I led my first design team where we worked on our first real-world production, and I learned from my struggles with ballooning scope in my own work and the work of my team.
Loaves, Fishes & Computers (LFC) is an organization that provides low-cost computers to low-income residents of Monterey County. My team and I met with their director and staff to discuss the current website. We sought to understand who it was that used the site, and for what purposes they did so.
We found that the site was more geared to help people who were seeking to help LFC than it was for those LFC was seeking to help. I had our team split into pairs, and we spent several weeks working on different design directions. We’d come together twice a week to discuss our various designs, and we honed in on one implementation that best fit the needs of LFC’s two types of users, helpers and those needing help.
This being the first real project we had all worked on, I had no sense of how far along we needed to be at any given point on the project, and no sense of scale for how much effort this or that part would take. There were so many pages and elements on the site that needed to be created and adjusted, and we had to provide instructions to the team we were making it for, the scope of the project was quickly growing out of control as the deadline marched closer and closer.
We were able to pull it all off at the end, we kept to our commitments to the staff and put in extra as well, and I got a better sense of how long different steps of a design project should take.