Waterfall Approach

Word:  Waterfall approach

Definition: A sequential design process that involves treating the steps of a project as separate, distinct phases, where approval of one phase is needed before the next phase can begin.

Thoughts: In this development approach the design phase does not typically begin until all requirements are approved by business stakeholders. However, a pure waterfall approach is not usually the best approach for UX work because it does not leave much wiggle room for any changes or iterations along the way. Each step is seen, for the most part, as final and completed. Think assembly-line style. The strict nature of this approach leads most designers and developers to work together in an agile approach instead (more on agile tomorrow).

Questions: What’s an example of a project that would lend itself to a waterfall approach?


waterfall chart credit

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