Our team supports BackOffice application: a mix of WinForm and WPF windows. (about 80 including dialogs). Really a kind of a Swiss Army Knife. It is used by developers, tech writers, security developers, testers.
The requirements for new features come quite often and sometimes we play Wizard of Oz to decide which GUI our users like the most. And it usually happens (I admit it can be just my subjective interpretation of the reality) that one tiny detail giving the flavor of good usability to our app requires a lot of time. This time is being spent on 'fighting' with GUI framework making it act like we need. And it very difficult to make estimations for this type of tasks (at least for me and most members of our team). Scrum poker is not a help either.
Management often considers this usability perfectionism to be a waste of time. On the other hand an accumulated affect of features where each has some little usability flaw frustrates users. But the same users want frequent releases and instant bug fixes. Hence, no way to get the positive feedback: there is always somebody who is snuffy.
I constantly feel myself as competing with ourselves: more features -> more bugs/tasks/architecture. We are trying to outrun the cart we are pushing. New technologies arrive and some of them can potentially help to improve the design or decrease task implementation time but these technologies require learning, prototyping and so on.
Well, that was a story. And now is the question:
- How do you balance between time pressure, product quality, users and management satisfaction?
- When and how do you decide to leave the problem with not a perfect but to some extent acceptable solution, how often do you make these decisions?
- How do you do with your own satisfaction? What are your priorities?
P.S. Please keep in mind, we are a BackOffice team, we have neither dedicated technical writer nor GUI designer. The tester have joined us recently. We've much work to do and much freedom concerning 'how'. I like it because it fosters creativity but I don't want to become too nerdy perfectionist.