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Lean Apart: A Case Study in Agile UX Design for a Distributed Team
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Lean Apart: A Case Study in Agile UX Design for a Distributed Team


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Video and slides synchronized, mp3 and slide download available at URL …

Video and slides synchronized, mp3 and slide download available at URL

Jennifer Hayes, Adam Archer present how they built a mixed team (local&remote) to learn the practice of design studios, making them an integral part of doing UI design. Filmed at

Adam Archer is a technical team lead at IBM working on the JazzHub project, a cloud-hosted software development platform. He spent the early portion of his career as a web application developer on the Jazz product line. Jennifer Hayes is a UXD lead at IBM working on the JazzHub project, a cloud-hosted software development platform, as well as Rational Team Concert.

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  • 1. Lean Apart A Case Study in Agile UX Design for a Distributed Team Jennifer Hayes, IBM Adam Archer, IBM UXD lead, JazzHub Dev lead, JazzHub QCon San Francisco November 12, 2013 IBM Rational Design 1
  • 2. Watch the video with slide synchronization on! /agile-ux-design-distributed-team News & Community Site • 750,000 unique visitors/month • Published in 4 languages (English, Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese) • Post content from our QCon conferences • News 15-20 / week • Articles 3-4 / week • Presentations (videos) 12-15 / week • Interviews 2-3 / week • Books 1 / month
  • 3. Presented at QCon San Francisco Purpose of QCon - to empower software development by facilitating the spread of knowledge and innovation Strategy - practitioner-driven conference designed for YOU: influencers of change and innovation in your teams - speakers and topics driving the evolution and innovation - connecting and catalyzing the influencers and innovators Highlights - attended by more than 12,000 delegates since 2007 - held in 9 cities worldwide
  • 4. Our team, our challenges Becoming a lean team Designing together Lessons learned IBM Rational Design 2
  • 5. Our team, our challenges Working remotely and the nature of our work IBM Rational Design 3
  • 6. Our team is pretty remote IBM Rational Design 4
  • 7. In the past: A designer’s disconnect 1. Engineering-driven solutions – Designer as editor 2. Wasted time on unused design – Why is your release theme more important than mine? 3. Problem-solving oriented – Is this the right thing to solve / do we understand the problem well? 4. Different workflows and cadence – Silos suck 5. Distributed teams – It’s lonely on the phone all the time Ref: Kimberley Peter, IBM Design IBM Rational Design 5
  • 8. In the past: A developer’s pain 1. Late breaking, unexpected changes – I was already fully committed before you came along 2. Development teams (and product management teams) are too ‘feature’ oriented – Just give ‘em the functionality they asked for 3. Impractical designs – Gee, I wished you’d talked to me sooner 4. Distributed teams – What ‘page’ are we on anyway? IBM Rational Design 6
  • 9. Hmmm, these seem familiar A designer’s disconnect A developer’s pain Eng-driven solutions Late-breaking changes Wasted time on unused designs Too feature oriented Too problem-solving oriented Impractical designs Different cadences Distributed teams IBM Rational Design Distributed teams 7
  • 10. Becoming a lean team In February 2013, we embarked on a mission to become a leaner, Agile team. It was time for a culture change in how we worked together. IBM Rational Design 8
  • 11. A new project, a new context IBM Rational Design 9
  • 12. Enough waterfalls, already! IBM Rational Design 10
  • 13. Learning to be a lean team IBM Rational Design 11
  • 14. How we put change into practice IBM Rational Design 12
  • 15. Weekly backlog planning IBM Rational Design 13
  • 16. Planning poker for sizing tasks with the team IBM Rational Design 14
  • 17. Group chat for daily scrum meetings IBM Rational Design 15
  • 18. Development wiki to share information IBM Rational Design 16
  • 19. Designing together Getting our sketch-on in design studios, learning locally, practicing remotely IBM Rational Design 17
  • 20. Learning to design lean IBM Rational Design 18
  • 21. How we design together IBM Rational Design 19
  • 22. Between 5 and 8 cross-discipline team members get together Developer Developer Business UX Designer Business Users, if appropriate IBM Rational Design 20
  • 23. The materials we use IBM Rational Design 21
  • 24. We practice the Design Studio method Step 1: Understand the problem Step 2: Step 2: Sketch Sketch a solution a solution Step 3: Step 3: Pitch Pitch the ideas the ideas Step 4: Step 4: Critique Critique the ideas the ideas Step 5: Converge on one design IBM Rational Design 22
  • 25. Step 1: Understand the problem (30 – 45 min) Identify the problem space and scope Know the business goals Understand for whom you are designing Generate some ideas IBM Rational Design 23
  • 26. Step 2: Sketch, and sketch some more (5 min) Step 2: Sketching Based on our definition and constraints, we each sketched as many ideas as possible in 5 minutes. Image source: UIE Webinar, Sketching by Nathan Curtis, Eightshapes IBM Rational Design 24
  • 27. Sketches: Exploring JazzHub projects (5 min) IBM Rational Design 25
  • 28. Step 3: Pitch and Critique (3 min each) Image source: The Design Studio Method - Todd Zaki Warfel IBM Rational Design 26
  • 29. Step 4: Sketch to iterate and refine (5 min) IBM Rational Design 27
  • 30. Step 5: Converge on a final team design (45 min) IBM Rational Design 28
  • 31. What’s so great about Design Studio? Generate 2 weeks of work in one day Cross-functional viewpoints Levels playing field – everyone is uncomfortable with sketching Vet design concepts Creates team buy-in, everyone invests More accuracy in development estimates IBM Rational Design 29
  • 32. When we want to explore or refine ideas IBM Rational Design 30
  • 33. We do weekly sessions with playback Playback to team Design Studio IBM Rational Design 31
  • 34. How we do remote design studios IBM Rational Design 32
  • 35. The workspace setup IBM Rational Design 33
  • 36. The screen setup: Seeing our teammates faces Google Hangout with visuals only (We use the phone for audio) IBM Rational Design 34
  • 37. The screen setup: A web meeting to screen share SmartCloud (web meeting) window overlays the Hangout so we can see screens and faces at the same time IBM Rational Design 35
  • 38. The sketch set up: Sharing sketches with IPEVO Start up your IPEVO camera and resize the window so that it’s the same height as the SmartCloud (web) meeting. IBM Rational Design 36
  • 39. Now you’re ready to start the Design Studio Now bring the SmartCloud (web) meeting window to the front to get ready to start the Design Studio. IBM Rational Design 37
  • 40. Understand the problem IBM Rational Design 38
  • 41. Brainstorm: Each person gets a row Adam’s ideas go here IBM Rational Design 39
  • 42. Affinity groups: One group, one column, one color IBM Rational Design 40
  • 43. Sketch, pitch and critique IBM Rational Design 41
  • 44. Converge on one design IBM Rational Design 42
  • 45. Playback to the team IBM Rational Design 43
  • 46. Lessons learned… A summary of what worked well for us and what needs some tweaking IBM Rational Design 44
  • 47. The benefits • • • • • • • IBM Rational Design Inclusive – everyone is involved in some way Fun and easy to do Possible to do across geographies Builds camaraderie Low-cost and fast Quick to process and share broadly Gets to implementation with lower investment 45
  • 48. The limitations • • • • • Technical difficulties at set up Slightly more prep required Moderator might need technical help Not everyone has IPEVO cameras IBM has constraints on what we can expose in cloudbased tools • Keeping the right balance of disciplines IBM Rational Design 46
  • 49. Sources for further learning Articles, webinars and tools IBM Rational Design 47
  • 50. About the methods Agile / Lean UX Methods • Ries, E., The Lean Startup, (2011) • Gothelf, J., Seiden, J. (editor), Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience, O'Reilly Media (2013) • Ramsey, A., Designing with Agile Workshop: Fast, Effective Methods that Work (Anders Ramsey – Blog, 2011) Design Principles • Hess, W., Design Principles: The Philosophy of UX (Slideshare, 2011) Design Studio Method • Curtis, N., Sketching for Understanding (UIE Webinar, 2013) • Evans, W., Introduction to Design Studio Methodology (UX Magazine – Article, 2011) • Evans, W., The Design of Design Studio (UX Magazine – Article, 2011) • Evans, W., Design Studio and Agile UX: Process and Pitfalls (UX Magazine – Article, 2011) • Zaki Warfel, T., The Design Studio Method (Agile UX NYC 2012 – Vimeo, 2012) Remote Collaboration Methods • Curtis, N., Efficient Sketching Studios With Remote Participants (EightShapes – Blog, 2011) • Gothelf, J., Designing with remote teams (Jeff Gothelf – Blog, 2013) IBM Rational Design 48
  • 51. Tools referenced, tools used Agile team practices • IBM Sametime: Scrum meetings • IBM Rational Team Concert, Backlog planning • Distributed scrum planning poker for estimating agile projects Sharing sketches, faces and screens: • IPEVO camera: Sharing sketches • SmartCloud ™ Meetings for IBM: Sharing screens and sketches • Google Hangouts: Showing the face of participants • Balsamiq: Creating wireframes from sketches Sharing information and requirements: • IBM Rational Requirements Composer: Playbacks, sharing research and prep for sketching • Google Drive: For non-confidential ideation on a shared surface Software development in the cloud: JazzHub: Task Tracking, Planning, Code IBM Rational Design 49
  • 52. Questions? IBM Rational Design 50
  • 53. Thanks! IBM Rational Design 51
  • 54. Watch the video with slide synchronization on!