When Post-Its Work Better Than PCs For Planning

Australian game development house Nnooo doesn't rely on any fancy technology when it does level design. Instead, it uses a wall covered in Post-It notes.

Mark over at Kotaku has an in-depth interview with the team at Nnooo, and the use of Post-Its as a planning tool is one of the aspects covered. Creative director Nic Watt explains how each project the company builds is initially planned using Post-It notes, and how that works better for its approach:

With paper it’s so much easier to simply scrumple things up and throw it in the bin. On a computer, even though you can delete it, it’s easy to get tied up in forcing things to work . . . If you can prototype on paper, things are easier to throw away. Post-It notes are worthless – you are so free to scrumple it up and start all over again.

My inner pedant would argue that Post-It notes actually cost more than just deleting what's on your screen and starting again, and I'd be worried about what happens if there's a fire. However, "if it works don't change it for the sake of change" is usually a good rule when it comes to productivity. What do you think of this approach?

An Audience With Nnooo [Kotaku]


    For anyone interested: I developed the base Augmented Reality system used in their upcoming game :)

    Aw crap! Nobody open the windows on a windy day.

    Sometimes low-tech is better (we often use a similar approach) - but always a good idea to do a "backup" (photo/video of the whole board).

    Check out how we use our whiteboard with colour-coded magnetic tabs during development sprints (board in the background): http://blog.creativeintersection.com/2011/03/day-in-life-of-creative-intersection.html

    Yup, post-its rock for any kind of development - infinite possibilities, and easier to manipulate than on a PC. Also, you're 'screen' can be massive!

    You can get extra sticky post-it notes for this sort of work. It sucks when you come back from lunch and all of your process maps have fallen off the boards.

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