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Copy of UX and Agile, Uneasy Partners

An examination of the difficulties present between User Experience and Agile Development

Allen Smith

on 28 April 2011

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Transcript of Copy of UX and Agile, Uneasy Partners

What is User Experience? User Experience is the experience that a product creates for the people who use it. This is the often forgotten part of the product's development.


Because people tend to focus on WHAT something does, not HOW it does it.
Examples Roles User Experience Design Information Architecture Visual Design Interaction Design Content Design Many remotes are monochromatic slices of hard plastic. For years, they have generally stuck to the old design conventions, a rectangle with neat rows and columns of buttons lined up like so many cadets.

''They were designed by -- and I hate to say it because I am one of them -- engineers,'' Mr. Newby said.

Paul Newby, Senior Director of Consumer Engineering Bad User Experience Immersive Jesse James Garrett Foundational theory around how the different pieces of design intersect in the space of web development to create the "user experience." President and Founder of a company called Adaptive Path The Elements of User Experience Introduction Theory The Elements User Experience and Agile Examples Proliferation of Platforms and Delivery Methods Build once? Microsoft saw this hardware And this software as an experience that could be moved anywhere. Anyone remember "Windows Everywhere?" What size are these jeans?
Don't break user trust. If people don't understand your interface, they're going to make up their own. That's called "guerilla UX." If the product needs a help sign, you have more work to do. Fix the product not the user. The phone rings. The call is important.
Which remote do you want to pause the show with? Tell me. How badly do you hate separate hot and cold taps? From the moment you enter the gates, Disney controls the environment to completely immerse you in the experience that they want to create for you. Great User Experience Do not design against ingrained human behavior. Fit between agile and UX should be good, since they share similar values. Developers tend to develop for functionality and maintainablity. Tendency to view the UI as the last thing to focus on. Does Sprint Zero Mean Something Different? Mean's different things to the two groups. UX Designer sees the work that they produce in order to support the agile cadence as "quick and dirty" because it is not part of well-thought out holistic planning. Designers think of Agile as a "development methodology." Testing means different things to the designer and the developer. UX Designers use testing to test the user's behavior against solutions to design problems.

They are testing the "how." Developers use testing as a code design, requirements solicitation and regression testing tool.

They are testing the "what." Note that not all user experiences have a user interface. The people in the UX community are struggling with finding their place in production environments that use agile. When asked how many people worked on an
agile project, a room of a hundred people raised their hands in unison.

When asked if they knew where their part of the process belonged, only a handful of hands remained in the air. Wireframe, Design, Prototype, Test, Repeat Prototyping The Five Planes Someone needs to inform and validate the design. Big difference between fulfilling requirements and creating a useful product. This led them to scale down the
whole desktop experience. And cram it into a phone. 10 year lead on mobile devices.
Market was theirs to lose, and they lost it. Apple on the other hand, didn't see the desktop computer as the starting point for their mobile appliance. What if you have an interaction model for a web page that relies heavily on "on hover" events? How do you reproduce the same experience on a tablet? Connected to your PC. Independent of your PC. Didn't know who their users were. (Overly focused on enterprise users,who are now buying iPhones). This is part of Apple's culture. “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.’”

-Henry Ford Apple's strategy was to divorce itself from an overreliance on the computer to generate revenue as computer hardware margins were decreasing. Microsoft's strategy was to tie more users to Windows. Proflowers.com Every other website sold flowers based on the categorization of flowers by type. After observing user's behavior, they figured out that they tend to buy flowers because "they forgot their wife's birthday". So they reorganized the site to sell flowers by occassion. Observe rather than interview. Know your users. It's okay to have priorities for your site, but don't expect user behavior to fall in line with your priorities. Designer <> BSA The process has a bias toward the company's goals. My old desk Types of usability testing: Interviews/Observations (ethnography)
Heuristic Review
Walk-Around Review
DIY Walkthrough (scenario following)
Prototype Tests
Developers tend to design to their understanding of the technology not to the user's needs. Full blown argument going on regarding the validity of user centered design. Microsoft’s share of the U.S. smartphone platform market has been dropping since. “Good design, when it’s done well, becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done poorly that we notice it.” – Jared Spool Information Scent Surface area of the site that the users are using to get to the site's content. Disrupting the immersion experience. Users hunt for information the way wolves hunt for rabbits. Through scent. When the user loses scent, they begin to engage in activities that are strong indicators of failure. Pogo Sticking
Use the back button (the button of doom)
Use search Most companies don’t put enough effort in defining the problem and typically base their problem definition on unsubstantiated assumptions. "Designing while you build is basically implementing tactics without a strategy. Many aspects of a product require a certain amount of research, prioritization, and strategic planning. As Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” Without a plan, many products end up including features and functions that tend to justify the product more than serving the users’ tasks or needs."

Larry Marine and Theo Mandel Does the UX portion require a separate discovery phase? Designers used to have a "phase" in the waterfall method to conduct their research and create deliverables. Designers believe that many of the problems that they are responsible for solving must be solved holistically. How do user stories include the viewpoint of the actual user? Jared Spool CEO and Founding Principle,
User Interface Engineering Users are not especially good at describing or solving their problems. When you query then directly, you are likely to get incremental solutions to problems rather than get a breakaway innovation. highly iterative and transparent Developers and Designers are culturally different. User Experience Primer
(Fitting Agile and UX Together?) Why is this stuff important? How do Designers Think? At the beginning of 2011 it was at 8.0 percent.

That trailed Google, with 31.2 percent,
Research In Motion with 30.4 percent,
and Apple with 24.7 percent. How do you tell the difference between making a qualitative improvement in the product and gold plating? How much do features matter anymore? Show it to me. Can we just get along please? UX Debt Style matters. Its not just fluff. In agile, who is the user's advocate?
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