It’s been a few weeks since I have taken part in Capgemini’s Rapid Design and Visualization (RDV) course in Oslo. I can say that there is a great deal of information from that course that has come to great use in the projects that I am currently working on. It’s great to see that I’m getting such an immediate use of RDV in practice.
But what is RDV in plain words? RDV is Capgemini’s methodology for developing solutions early in the process with the help of some methods and tools that we got to train on during the course days. The methods were white boarding, low-fidelity sketching, and customer review meetings. The tools were pen and paper, pen and whiteboard, Axure, iRise and presentation software.
In my role as a UX designer it’s common that many of those tools are used but it was excellent to see them as part of an RDV process. We were many Capgemini consultants coming from Norway, Sweden, Germany and Poland that got split into teams for the week. Within each team we then used our best skills in order to deliver a solution for a fictive project. Not all of us were UX designers and it was quite useful to have business analysts and project leads collaborating within the teams. This has led to some rather multifaceted discussions and brainstorming sessions as it can happen also in a real situation when stakeholders are involved at an early stage.
RDV involves a lot of focus on UX design but it actually implies a series of different roles getting engaged for finding a solution as early as possible in the process. This ensures that stakeholders reach an agreement on the nature of the requirements and possible solutions quite rapidly. With the help of UX designers and visualization tools a consensus on a how that solution can look and feel can easier be reached.
This type of a process is viable for projects where there is not a lot of time in the beginning. The scope of using RDV is that of reaching the best possible solution considering the tight timeframe.  The required nature of user studies and the difficulty of finding users is of course a factor that can influence the rapid nature of the process.
Our teams managed during the one-week course to initiate meetings with clients, discuss requirements, create personas, and define the workflow within white boarding sessions. We then sketched on solutions and created prototypes in Axure. Finally, we did both mid-way and final presentations for our clients.
It felt exciting to see all take shape so quickly and inspiring for real projects that we were all working on and having in the back of our mind. It now feels that a bit of RDV can do great in any project and who doesn’t like it when solutions take shape rapidly and can be easily viewed and understood through visuals?