Note that some of the items in the SnackLog outline are questions. Often, you don’t know whether a feature fits until you really think it through. The later phases (sketches, wireframes, mockups, and prototypes) often make the answers clear. But outlines can also help you work through the possible answers (and further questions) that emerge from a major question. Here’s an outline exploring the ramifications of two backup options.
- Pros—super simple, fairly easy to implement, can share with others (if for some reason you want to send them your purchase history), don’t have to be near a computer
- Cons—files might get big over time, have to remember to do it (offer an occasional reminder? Kind of annoying. Hard to figure out a reminder interval that works for everyone), automatic emails? (also kind of annoying)
- Pros—easy to implement
- Cons—have to remember to do it (while connected to your computer), harder to share with someone else, have to use the suboptimal iTunes document-management interface
A ramifications outline is a fine way to have a little debate with yourself in order to find all the pros and cons of an idea. After writing up this outline, you might find that email looks like a good option. It isn’t perfect, but it looks more appealing than the alternative. For now, that’s all you need to know: which direction looks most promising for when you start sketching. If several options look equally promising, you can use sketching to pit them against each other.