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UXPA Lean UX Bridging the gap between UX and Developers

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Andrew Mottaz, CTO and Founder of ProtoShare presented this talk at UXPA Boston 2013.

Andrew Mottaz, CTO and Founder of ProtoShare presented this talk at UXPA Boston 2013.


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  • ----- Meeting Notes (5/20/13 17:16) -----A lot of lean is a response to Agile development practices.
  • Waterfall has 1000 flaws – its inflexible, you make huge mistakes instead of small ones, its slow, cumbersome, etc. BUT at least there was a role for a UX professional/Designer to try to make a coherent impact.Agile if flexible, can make course corrections, smaller mistakes, but where does UX fit in? I once heard an Agile Dev. From Nike say that as far as feature requirements, they want one page, or better yet, one sentence. Developers get UX by default. At least they can validate but . . .
  • Waterfall has 1000 flaws – its inflexible, you make huge mistakes instead of small ones, its slow, cumbersome, etc. BUT at least there was a role for a UX professional/Designer to try to make a coherent impact.Agile if flexible, can make course corrections, smaller mistakes, but where does UX fit in? I once heard an Agile Dev. From Nike say that as far as feature requirements, they want one page, or better yet, one sentence. Developers get UX by default. At least they can validate but . . . If you’re not on the Agile team, you will constantly be playing catch-up and trying to influence development as an interfering outsider.----- Meeting Notes (5/20/13 17:16) -----Waterfall tended to make UX into a requirement writer.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (5/20/13 17:16) -----Who here uses User Stories as part of their process? Who writes them? Who reviews them?
  • ----- Meeting Notes (5/20/13 17:16) -----Who does this with user stories? Do you do it before writing user stories?
  • Communicate the ‘why’ of decisions to create a shared understanding.----- Meeting Notes (5/20/13 17:16) -----Would anyone like to speculate about the one best way to create a shared understanding?
  • Communicate the ‘why’ of decisions to create a shared understanding.
  • Communicate the ‘why’ of decisions to create a shared understanding.
  • This is the solution we came up with. We did all the things I said – user stories, sketches, wireframes, prototypes, reviews, discussions. How did we miss this?
  • Communicate the ‘why’ of decisions to create a shared understanding.
  • No one on the team would have believed it without seeing it.Had you said ‘the user didn’t see it’, the reaction would have been: wellThere must be something wrong with the user.When you watch the test, it is much harder to do that.You’ll notice the button stayed in the chrome – that’s how convinced we wereThat it was the right place for it. And it was, but not for new users.
  • Agile agrees – get to working code quickly and iterate to improve.
  • Transcript

    • 1. LEAN UXBridging the gap between UX and DevelopmentAndrew MottazCTO ProtoShare
    • 2. Is Agile Compatible with Modern UX?• Individuals and interactions over processes and tools• Working software over comprehensive documentation• Customer collaboration over contract negotiation• Responding to change over following a planAgile Manifesto
    • 3. Good:• User-focused• Iterative• User is ultimate judgeConclusion: Modern UX and Agile have sharedvalues.Is Agile Compatible with Modern UX?
    • 4. Bad:• Developer-centric.• Minimal requirements in the form of writtenuser stories.• Hermetically sealed sprints with nointerference from outside.• We‟ll show you what we‟ve come up withwhen its done.Answer: Maybe? Lean UX is one way to try.Is Agile Compatible with Modern UX?
    • 5. Lean Manufacturing -> Lean Startup ->Lean UX"Lean," is a production practice that considers theexpenditure of resources for any goal other than thecreation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, andthus a target for elimination.- Wikipedia
    • 6. Lean UX in a Nutshell• Every design is a hypothesis and must be tested.• The focus on a giant spec doc is replaced by a focus on ashared understanding.• Shadow Sprint ( Prototype the Backlog )• Embedded UX with Cross-functional teams (UX is part ofthe sprint, Developers are part of the planning)
    • 7. Shared Understanding.Shared With whom?• Business Analysts, Clients and other high-level stakeholders.• User experience team• Development team• QAUnderstanding of What?• Who the user is. (Personas, User testing, User stories)• What the user wants and needs. (User stories, User testing)• What solutions are being proposed and why. (Prototypes, detailedrequirements, developer input, documentation, discussion, usertesting)• How the solutions behave ( Prototypes, writtendocumentation, discussion, user testing )• Whether the solution is successful. ( User testing )
    • 8. Shared Understanding: User Stories• Verbal, user-centered, abstract. (What and why)• Audience: People who have intimate knowledge ofproduct.• Drawbacks: Different people can have radically differentunderstanding.• User stories are explored, supplemented, decomposedand validated using visual prototypes of varying levels offidelity
    • 9. Shared Understanding:Sketches, Wireframes and Prototypes• Internal validation• Walkthroughs and Spec Meetings• Visualizations are a far more effective way than writtenspecifications to communicate the core vision.• Start low fidelity, evolve to get as high fidelity as you needto get your point across.• Higher fidelity = more engagement. Use this to youradvantage.
    • 10. Creating a Shared UnderstandingWhat is the best way to build consensus among your team?• Talk about it? You can have a 3 hour conversationabout what the meaning of the word „is‟ is.• Impose it from above? Risky and difficult.• Trusted authority? Getting better – over time a UXpractitioner can gain credence.
    • 11. EVERYONE participate in user testing!• User acts as neutral 3rd party judge.• Better than actual judge, because you don‟t have to take theirword, you get to watch their behavior.• There is a galvanizing emotional content to user testing thatwill convince even the most obstinate developer.• Watching someone struggle with YOUR product isexcruciating, exhilarating and hair-pulling.Bonus! You get to validate yourhypothesis at the same time.
    • 12. An Example:Problem: We built an awesome library of stencils and widgetsTo speed prototyping, but users were having difficulty finding it.Solution: Place an „advertisement‟ in the UI in a prominent location.
    • 13. How did we do?Answer: “Not Well”NO ONE SAW IT. Why?Inattentional BlindnessWhen the palette was open, peoplefocused on the content, not the chrome.( Google: change blindness gorilla video )
    • 14. Solution: Color, but also, put the ad in the area that had the users attention.
    • 15. Lean UX is User Testing• Schedule user testing on a regular basis. Don‟t wait• 3-5 users every week, month or quarter, but do it.• You can user test paper prototypes, low fidelitywireframes, high fidelity prototypes or working code.• Have all team members participate at least once.• You can sell this approach by having managementparticipate in some user tests.
    • 16. Start User Testing Early with PrototypesInternal Validation• Do this all the time• Train yourself to shareearly• Regular Reviews• Part of cadenceExternal Validation• Formative User Testing• Small number ( 2 to 3 )• Informal• Face-to-face or monitored• Validative User Testing• Larger number• Analytics• More formal• Watching a small subset ofusers still useful• Impractical to watch all users.
    • 17. Prototypes• Iterate, Iterate, Iterate• Visual, experiential, concrete ( What and how )• User Testing: Do this regularly, don‟t wait until you‟re ready.• Prototypes start low fidelity, and evolve to as high fidelity as weneed them to be.• Regular review of prototypes by team members creates ashared understanding• When are you done prototyping? When developers have areasonable amount of certainty that they can build what‟s beingproposed.
    • 18. Iterating in code• Just because you‟ve started engineering, doesn‟t meanyou‟re done validating.• Continue Internal and External Validation• Validative User Testing