Yesterday, what I thought was going to be a quick thirty minute task turned into a six hour interface rebuild. Sometimes, you just need to step back from the screen and rethink the whole thing... preferably with smelly markers and lots of drawing space!
Easily one of my favourite additions to the Visual Lizard offices is the wall of whiteboards directly behind our workspace. More than once, I’ve needed to bounce an idea of one of the others, and having a giant drawing surface within reach makes everything easier.
The to-do item I was tasked with started out simple enough, but quickly became very convoluted, with concepts and variables conflicting all over the place... and it seemed every solution only twisted something else out of shape! Inevitably, I was forced to step away from it for bit to clear my head (and have lunch). When I got back, Dwayne and I approached the problem on the whiteboard, trying to wrap our head around what we were trying to accomplish without any code getting in the way.
In the end, we were able to quickly turn my growing problem-task into a series of coherent requirements, and a couple hours later, I was not only finished, but had managed to add some functional and aesthetic improvements. :)