It is America’s oldest pastime. It’s an amazing sport with tremendous athletes. And baseball is completely like web design. We will be looking at web design through the lens of baseball so we can understand who’s on first and what’s on second.
Who’s on First
In every good baseball team you have talent, good management and sometimes luck. It’s no different in web design and I believe the similarities are easy to see.
So lets discuss similarities that may not be so easy to see like who are the fans in this scenario? And where is the client? The client is in the skybox and their users are packed in the stands waiting to see you play. They want to see the home team win.
Sometimes the client themselves are the opposing team. And if that is the case in your dugout then you are doing something wrong. So your faced with the real opponent. It is actually close to the client, it’s the requirements of a project. That is the opposing team. You see, the client in that fancy rev generating skybox has a challenge for you and it’s in the opposing dugout. Time to play.
What is UX? What is UI or IA? For these more complicated concepts I am going to widdle it down into a simple baseball.
- UX is how a baseball feels in your hand. It’s the feeling you get when you throw that strike or knock it out of the park.
- UI is like the threading on the ball and the logo mark.
- IA is like the dimensions of the ball. It’s the diameter or weight and how many stitches a ball needs practically.
Every project is like a baseball. And I guess one can arguably say “all projects are different”. Not really. The more projects are different the more projects are the same. Listen up meat. In this example I want to drive home that all projects need standards and with that a higher chances for success. You wouldn’t want a ball shaped like an oval would you? All projects need processes.
That means designers and devs are vetted in the minors for a while. As well, management has to understand the game they are playing and not just be lucky. And most importantly, there has to be unity in the locker room and if there isn’t then the team as a whole won’t play well together let alone win.
Every team has a super star, a journeyman, a young buck, etc. You get the picture. It’s management’s job to manage the talent to win the game. The point of the game is not about keeping your uni clean, though you wouldn’t think it by the way some very large agencies play ball. The point of any game is to win. To me an old veteran, the point is to dominate.
Here’s hoping you hit a home run. Remember this when you’re waiting in the box to hit that ball. This game needs business rules in order to work smoothly. There should always be processes like UX, UI, and IA on every project. Then you design and dev, not an inning sooner. You can’t very well play baseball without a ball. You need a team that’s unified. Fix problems before the locker room goes toxic. You need the fans. And you depend on money from the sky boxes. So batter up. There’s no crying in baseball and there sure as heck ain’t no crying in web design.