How to support Silver and Bronze projects

in UX Management

Silver projects are important to your company, but not as mission-critical as Gold projects.

Silver projects may make up the bulk of your projects and include those which:

  • Do not affect your customers directly
  • Do not affect primary personas
  • Affect secondary tasks or lesser-used functions
  • Address low-level interface issues rather than structural issues that really impinge on the user experience

Examples of Silver projects: Staff intranet, advanced functions used by expert users, account maintenance pages, tidying-up the visual design of a few pages.

While these projects need serious usability support to get right, they are not as business-critical as Gold projects.

There’s two common approaches to supporting Silver projects:

  1. Put mid-weight or less-experienced staff on the project (saving your best practitioners for Gold projects).
  2. Provide the critical structure of the design, for example, sketched paper prototypes. Then allow other developers to design the detail and have your trained usability practitioners review it and give guidance. This puts usability staff in control of critical decisions without taking all their time and allows coaching of less experienced developers.

On low-priority Bronze projects (e.g. simple pages that impact few users, or where it’s difficult to go far wrong) you should provide an evaluative function. This means that non-usability specialists do the design work, while your team provides advice and guidance during design iterations. In this way, you can support an entire project with just a few days from one practitioner.

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