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Friday, 04 February 2011

Thoughts on UX & Agile Integration

Came across Integrated Usability in Agile teams from the trenches via the Agile Experience Design group on Linked In and it contains some great tips for UX folk working in Agile teams for the first time.

I've been working in an Agile-ish shop for just about a year and I love it, having been seeking out opportunites to do so for a couple years prior to that. To me, the tenets of Agile made perfect sense to me as change is inevitable and Agile is about embracing and dealing with change rather than fighting against it. 

To add to Robin Dymond's list, here are some additional items that have helped me be Agile in my IxD work:

  • I've found being both the Product Owner and the IxD on projects helps me organize my IxD work as I have deep knowledge of what is most important to my customers and ensures I'm working from business priorities.
  • Also, it helps to have quick & easy access to all the people I service - business stakeholders, customers, and the development team. One of many reasons I have always preferred working for smaller companies.

  • Having breathing room between major development projects to take care of incremental improvements to existing applications allows me to increase my understanding of the business needs and the needs of the people using the software. This knowledge then feeds into the major development projects. During the gap between major projects I can also take time to develop conceptual models and high level interaction models so that I'm not as rushed when sprint 0 of a project hits. 

  • Using software (VersionOne) to organize the enormous backlog of requests across numerous software applications.

  • Lastly, working with a CTO that evangelizes both Agile and UX and has mentored me on taking a more systems engineering approach to my IxD work has been a very large part of the success I've had with Agile.

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