J.J. Kercher | Director, User Experience
@jjkercher
SELF-ORGANIZED,
AUTONOMOUS UX
UX
M A G I C
ABOUT ME
DESIGNER TO
ENGINEER, A DIALOGUE
Images shamelessly stolen from Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half
hyperboleandahalf.blogsp...
“Hey Engineer, wanna collaborate??!!”
…too busy
…wrong timezone
…why do you care?
Sooooo
Three months later…
…yes but it’s what
you asked me
to build! but, but…it’s broken!
Which makes me all….
X
A portfolio of SaaS applications to help small and mid-
sized businesses improve their workflow so they save
time and make ...
UNDERSTANDING THE
APPFOLIO CULTURE
✦ Founded by technology leaders
✦ Engineering-centric culture
✦ Agile shop since the beginning
✦ Adopters of the Four Step...
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collabora...
1. Drive: UX practitioners are part of the customer or product
owner team
2. Research, model, and design up front - but on...
COMMON “AGILE UX” PRACTICES
User Story
User Story
User Story
User Story
Product Owner
Feature
Developers (includes QA)
Dev...
COMMON “AGILE UX” PRACTICES
User Story
User Story
User Story
User Story
Product Owner
Feature
Developers (includes QA)
Dev...
PUTTING IT ALL INTO
PRACTICE
Research
ResearchCollaboration
Rite Method Usability Testing
+
Mob Designpaper prototype prototype prototype prototype5 users 3 use...
Research +
Rite Method Usability Testing
Contextual Inquiries
Research
Rite Method Usability Testing
Contextual Inquiries
“User Research Friday”
What is User Research Friday?
UR Friday...
Research
Rite Method Usability Testing
Contextual Inquiries
“User Research Friday”
Research
Collaboration
+
Rite Method Usability Testing
Contextual Inquiries
“User Research Friday”
Research
Collaboration
+
Rite Method Usability Testing
Customer Interviews
Contextual Inquiries
“User Research Friday”
Usa...
Research
Collaboration
+
Rite Method Usability Testing
Contextual Inquiries
“User Research Friday”
Design Studios Prototyp...
Research
Collaboration
+
Rite Method Usability Testing
Contextual Inquiries
“User Research Friday”
Design Studios
UX/Engin...
Research
Collaboration
+
Rite Method Usability Testing
Contextual Inquiries
“User Research Friday”
Design Studios
UX/Engin...
Research
Collaboration
+
Rite Method Usability Testing
Customer Interviews
Contextual Inquiries
“User Research Friday”
Usa...
OUR UX VALUES
Adapted from Agile Experience Design, Ratcliffe & McNeill 2013
! Inclusive
rather than Elitist
"
# ◎
Emergent...
Facilitation Exercise
FUN
Break!
HOW OUR TEAMS
WORK TODAY
Case Study: Mobile Inspections
Scrum Team Scrum Team
Product
Manager
Agile
Coach
UX
Designer
Software
Engineer
QA
Engineer
Software
Engineer
QA
Engineer
...
Engineering “College”
Engineering
Director
UX Research
Facilitator
Scrum Team Scrum Team
Product
Manager
Agile
Coach
UX
De...
The dedicated UX lead on a small, cross functional scrum team
responsible for prototyping and validating design solutions ...
PROCESS (BIG FEATURE RELEASES)
Adapted from “The Product Design Sprint” http://robots.thoughtbot.com/the-product-design-sp...
iterate iterate iterate iterate
PROCESS (BIG FEATURE RELEASES)
!
Project Kickoff
Competitive Analysis
Review Feedback
Contextual Inquiries
Audience Profile
...
Our Values
• User Empathy
• Collaboration
• Facilitation
• Empowerment
• Education
What we are NOT
• Product Owners
• Deli...
J.J. Kercher | Director, User Experience
@jjkercher
GOOD TALK :)
pssst…we’re hiring! ux.appfolio.com/jobs
Self-Organized, Autonomous UX  |  SoCal UX Camp  |  May 31, 2014
Self-Organized, Autonomous UX  |  SoCal UX Camp  |  May 31, 2014
Self-Organized, Autonomous UX  |  SoCal UX Camp  |  May 31, 2014
Self-Organized, Autonomous UX  |  SoCal UX Camp  |  May 31, 2014
Self-Organized, Autonomous UX  |  SoCal UX Camp  |  May 31, 2014
Self-Organized, Autonomous UX  |  SoCal UX Camp  |  May 31, 2014
Self-Organized, Autonomous UX  |  SoCal UX Camp  |  May 31, 2014
Self-Organized, Autonomous UX  |  SoCal UX Camp  |  May 31, 2014
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Self-Organized, Autonomous UX | SoCal UX Camp | May 31, 2014

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In an agile environment, establishing usability and user experience as the responsibility of the UX team is destined for conflict and frustration. Learn how transferring this ownership onto the cross-functional team ultimately responsible for delivering the experience builds trust and empowerment and ultimately provides an environment that fosters collaboration, growth and innovation. This presentation will discuss the evolution of incorporating UX into agile at AppFolio, the roles and makeup of our development teams as they exist today, and some examples of how those teams collaborate around design solutions when tackling big feature enhancements on our mature product.

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Self-Organized, Autonomous UX | SoCal UX Camp | May 31, 2014

  1. 1. J.J. Kercher | Director, User Experience @jjkercher SELF-ORGANIZED, AUTONOMOUS UX
  2. 2. UX M A G I C ABOUT ME
  3. 3. DESIGNER TO ENGINEER, A DIALOGUE Images shamelessly stolen from Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com
  4. 4. “Hey Engineer, wanna collaborate??!!”
  5. 5. …too busy …wrong timezone …why do you care?
  6. 6. Sooooo
  7. 7. Three months later…
  8. 8. …yes but it’s what you asked me to build! but, but…it’s broken!
  9. 9. Which makes me all….
  10. 10. X
  11. 11. A portfolio of SaaS applications to help small and mid- sized businesses improve their workflow so they save time and make more money. ABOUT APPFOLIO
  12. 12. UNDERSTANDING THE APPFOLIO CULTURE
  13. 13. ✦ Founded by technology leaders ✦ Engineering-centric culture ✦ Agile shop since the beginning ✦ Adopters of the Four Steps to Epiphany and Lean Startup ideology ✦ Ease of use already a core value and the #1 competitive advantage THE PRE-UX APPFOLIO LANDSCAPE
  14. 14. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan Individuals and interactions over processes and tools ! Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan Working software over comprehensive documentation THE AGILE MANIFESTO Psst…this conflicts with traditional UX!
  15. 15. 1. Drive: UX practitioners are part of the customer or product owner team 2. Research, model, and design up front - but only just enough 3. Chunk your design work 4. Use parallel track development to work ahead, and follow behind 5. Buy design time with complex engineering stories 6. Cultivate a user validation group for use for continuous user validation 7. Schedule continuous user research in a separate track from development 8. Leverage user time for multiple activities 9. Use RITE to iterate UI before development 10.Prototype in low fidelity 11. Treat prototype as specification 12.Become a design facilitator http://agileproductdesign.com/blog/emerging_best_agile_ux_practice.html
  16. 16. COMMON “AGILE UX” PRACTICES User Story User Story User Story User Story Product Owner Feature Developers (includes QA) Develop Test Release UX Team (includes front end dev) Research Design Validate Iterate Stakeholder Approval
  17. 17. COMMON “AGILE UX” PRACTICES User Story User Story User Story User Story Product Owner Feature Developers (includes QA) Develop Test Release UX Team (includes front end dev) Research Design Validate Iterate Stakeholder Approval
  18. 18. PUTTING IT ALL INTO PRACTICE
  19. 19. Research
  20. 20. ResearchCollaboration Rite Method Usability Testing + Mob Designpaper prototype prototype prototype prototype5 users 3 users 2 users 4 users
  21. 21. Research + Rite Method Usability Testing Contextual Inquiries
  22. 22. Research Rite Method Usability Testing Contextual Inquiries “User Research Friday” What is User Research Friday? UR Friday is a monthly meeting designed to expose the engineering team at AppFolio to user research. We aim to: promote empathy for our customers foster ownership of usability Each meeting focuses on one broad topic to encourage participation and engagement across the different product teams. User Research Friday harnesses the natural tendency of engineers to analyze, interpret, and derive their own insights from available data. Motivation The user experience team at AppFolio continually seeks new, agile ways to communicate customer insights and empower developers to make design decisions informed by research. In addition to usability testing, how else can we engage developers in the ongoing discussion about our customers’ evolving needs? The idea of a ‘User Research Day’ has been suggested to us via different conferences, blog posts, and books. The usual suggestion is to show usability tests on a weekly basis. At AppFolio, we are experimenting with different formats to showcase different types of user research that can help inform development decisions. This poster describes the purpose, structure, and outcomes of our first 3 User Research Fridays at AppFolio, Inc. User Research Fridays A UX Ritual to Engage Agile Teams in Peripheral Customer Insights Custom Reports Summary Reports Other Reports Help Help center Overview APM Customers - Technology Listings (no apply) - Techno… Apply Only - Technology Tenant Portal - Technology Owner's Portal - Technology Apply Conversion Apply Conversion (Test) Apply Only - Technology Advanced Segments Edit Email Export Add to Dashboard Shortcut vs. Sort Type: Operating System Browser Screen Resolution Screen Colors Content Viewed Usage Primary Dimension: Operating System All Visits % of visits: 1.48% All Desktop % of visits: 0.97% Phone % of visits: 0.40% Tablet % of visits: 0.11% Visits Select a metric Visits ( )All Visits Visits ( )All Desktop Visits ( )Phone Visits ( )Tablet Jan 8Jan 15Jan 22Jan 291,0001,0002,0002,000Tuesday, January 22, 2013Visits (All Visits):1,363Visits (All Desktop):929Visits (Phone):359Visit Visits Unique Pageviews 38,456 % of Total: 1.48% (2,604,638) 72,076 % of Total: 0.42% (17,180,209) 25,338 % of Total: 0.97% (2,604,638) 52,927 % of Total: 0.31% (17,180,209) 10,383 % of Total: 0.40% (2,604,638) 14,512 % of Total: 0.08% (17,180,209) 2,736 % of Total: 0.11% (2,604,638) 4,637 % of Total: 0.03% (17,180,209) All Visits All Desktop Phone Tablet Secondary dimension Default Reporting Customization APM - - Filtered View (Excludes Most Employee Data) Edit Custom Report General Information Title Report Content Filters - optional and and and + add filter Profiles - optional Current Profile 'Filtered View (Excludes Most Employee Data)' Additional Profiles Save Cancel Operating System Browser Screen Resolution Screen Colors Content Viewed Name Type Explorer Flat Table Map Overlay Metric Groups + Add metric group Dimension Drilldowns + add metric Visits Unique Pageviews Avg. Visit Duration Pages / Visit + add dimension Page Page Destination Page Destination Page Destination Page Include Regex Exclude Regex Exclude Regex None Problem Statement How do we use analytics to gain insights into our products? The best way to understand is to use an example: Our web analytics tell us that 30% of people access our online rental application from a mobile device. We wondered: Which mobile devices do people use (phones, tablets)? What are some ways to optimize the online application for a better mobile experience? Structure We demonstrated to the team how to create custom segments using Google Analytics. Customer segments show the percentages of people using tablets, smart phones, and desktops to view the online application. Goals Developers understand how to derive customer insights from analytics data, and how these insights can inform product development. Outcome Developers learned how we use analytics data to identify opportunities for improving our products Developers understand how to read and evaluate the monthly analytics reports we generate Google Analytics Segmentation Demo Conclusion UR Friday has given our developers the chance to: Observe user behavior through tools like ClickTale and Usertesting.com Analyze customer behavior via Google Analytics Listen to customers speak about their experiences Regardless of personal preferences for different types of data or modes of communication, the developers now know how each type of data drives insights into the customer experience. Meanwhile, the UX team discovered that if we remove ourselves as interpreters/gatekeepers of customer insights and instead put the data in front of the development team, we could better facilitate a direct flow of information from customers. After all, the most compelling insights are the ones you discover for yourself. Applicant General Info Payment Info Verify Confirmation *Name *Email Address Phone Note: Please provide at least 3 years of residential history. *Address Rental Application Echo Properties 949-555-5555 Contact Information Current Address First name M Last name Home Phone Work Phone Cell Phone Address 1 Address 2 City State Zip Applicant General Info Payment Info Verify Confirm Feature-Specific User Research Highlights Problem Statement Our web analytics indicate that only 20% of people who view our online rental application actually complete and submit the application. We can also see that 1 out of 4 people get an error message on the first page of the application. We wondered: What errors are people making? How can we increase conversions? Structure We recorded users completing the online rental application using two tools: ClickTale and Usertesting.com. The team watched highlight reels from both tools then compared and discussed their observations. Goals Developers witness customer behavior and frustration with the online application. Outcome Developers: Learned about two new data-gathering tools available to the team Identified opportunities for improving the online application Gained understanding of the problem space Can make informed updates the next time they are touching the online application Poster Authors Kate MacCorkle, Usability Analyst J.J. Kercher, Senior Interaction Designer Problem statement Our app is complex, and our support queue is increasingly overwhelmed by customer support requests. How are customers using the existing Help & Training Materials? What are the opportunities for improving the Help & Training experience? Structure We hosted a GoToMeeting with 3 remote users to discuss their experience with Help & Training. In addition to developers, we invited representatives from our services team and our training guru. Everyone had the opportunity to talk directly to the customers and ask questions. Goals Developers and customer service reps talk directly with customers about their workflow, highlights and pain points. Outcome: Developers learned what help & training we offer and how users access the resources Customer service reps gained ideas for optimizing the voicemail system and insight into why some users submit multiple support requests Training guru realized the importance of “searchability” of help topics Live Customer Panel with Developers 3 Methods We’ve Tried... What would you try?
  23. 23. Research Rite Method Usability Testing Contextual Inquiries “User Research Friday”
  24. 24. Research Collaboration + Rite Method Usability Testing Contextual Inquiries “User Research Friday”
  25. 25. Research Collaboration + Rite Method Usability Testing Customer Interviews Contextual Inquiries “User Research Friday” Usage Analytics Design Studios
  26. 26. Research Collaboration + Rite Method Usability Testing Contextual Inquiries “User Research Friday” Design Studios Prototype Validation
  27. 27. Research Collaboration + Rite Method Usability Testing Contextual Inquiries “User Research Friday” Design Studios UX/Engineer Design Pairing Prototype Validation
  28. 28. Research Collaboration + Rite Method Usability Testing Contextual Inquiries “User Research Friday” Design Studios UX/Engineer Design Pairing Prototype Validation
  29. 29. Research Collaboration + Rite Method Usability Testing Customer Interviews Contextual Inquiries “User Research Friday” Usage Analytics Design Studios UX/Engineer Design Pairing Mob Design Design Patterns Team Prototype Validation Sketching/Wireframes Support Requests User Forums Competitive Analysis “UX Award” Lean Experiments
  30. 30. OUR UX VALUES Adapted from Agile Experience Design, Ratcliffe & McNeill 2013 ! Inclusive rather than Elitist " # ◎ Emergent with direction rather than up front Integrated and collaborative rather than handed over the fence Considerate of customer, business, and technology needs rather than biased towards a single factor 2014 winner! design for experience awards | union of design and engineering
  31. 31. Facilitation Exercise FUN Break!
  32. 32. HOW OUR TEAMS WORK TODAY Case Study: Mobile Inspections
  33. 33. Scrum Team Scrum Team Product Manager Agile Coach UX Designer Software Engineer QA Engineer Software Engineer QA Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer
  34. 34. Engineering “College” Engineering Director UX Research Facilitator Scrum Team Scrum Team Product Manager Agile Coach UX Designer Software Engineer QA Engineer Software Engineer QA Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Scrum Team Scrum Team Product Manager Agile Coach UX Designer Software Engineer QA Engineer Software Engineer QA Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer Software Engineer
  35. 35. The dedicated UX lead on a small, cross functional scrum team responsible for prototyping and validating design solutions made in collaboration with Software Engineers, QA Engineers and the Product Manager. ! ! ! The UX support lead responsible for inspiring user-centered design on the scrum teams through exposure to user insights and facilitation of collaborative design activities UX ROLES UX Designer UX Research Facilitator
  36. 36. PROCESS (BIG FEATURE RELEASES) Adapted from “The Product Design Sprint” http://robots.thoughtbot.com/the-product-design-sprint
  37. 37. iterate iterate iterate iterate
  38. 38. PROCESS (BIG FEATURE RELEASES) ! Project Kickoff Competitive Analysis Review Feedback Contextual Inquiries Audience Profile ! Competitive Analysis Review Feedback Individual Sketching ! Design Studio Identify Themes Prototype Sketch ! UX Prototype Test Plan Recruiting ! Prototype Testing Dev Prototype Iterate Pair/Mob Designing Increased Fidelity Alpha/Beta Customer Interviews Adapted from “The Product Design Sprint” http://robots.thoughtbot.com/the-product-design-sprint Backend Planning and Research: Architecture, Frameworks, Etc.
  39. 39. Our Values • User Empathy • Collaboration • Facilitation • Empowerment • Education What we are NOT • Product Owners • Deliverers of Polished Designs • The Sole Owners of Product Usability IN CONCLUSION
  40. 40. J.J. Kercher | Director, User Experience @jjkercher GOOD TALK :) pssst…we’re hiring! ux.appfolio.com/jobs
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