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How we got everyone at MYOB hooked on UX, and how we're managing their addiction - Agile Australia 2013 presentation
 

How we got everyone at MYOB hooked on UX, and how we're managing their addiction - Agile Australia 2013 presentation

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MYOB hasn't been known for its usability and design. In the past 12 months, a UX team has been growing, and their influence on product design and development is continually growing. As User Experience ...

MYOB hasn't been known for its usability and design. In the past 12 months, a UX team has been growing, and their influence on product design and development is continually growing. As User Experience designers and managers of a UX team, getting buy-in from your stakeholders and peers is awesome - especially when you're all new to the company. But what happens when you've increased the interest and buy-in so much that it turns into a monster to manage? You could double the size or your team, or you could do what we're doing - educating the rest of the company about good design and user experience and letting go of the reins a little. Scary? Yes. Learn how we're doing things at MYOB and the exponential change we are seeing in the company culture.

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    How we got everyone at MYOB hooked on UX, and how we're managing their addiction - Agile Australia 2013 presentation How we got everyone at MYOB hooked on UX, and how we're managing their addiction - Agile Australia 2013 presentation Presentation Transcript

    • @turner_twit Scott Turner Megan Dell@megandell
    • Topics we’ll cover: • The rise of the UX team at MYOB, resulting in their addiction • How we have managed to integrate Lean UX process into Agile Projects • Three major challenges we’ve faced • Tactics to overcome some of these challenges
    • Who is MYOB? • Large company focussed on Accounting software • Established ~20 years ago • Located in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia • Large customer base • 300+ staff in agile development teams across three continents • UX team of 5
    • MYOB’s reputation: • Safe, reliable, comfortable, compliant and meets customer needs • Customers don’t expect a sports car for their accounting software • Accounting is often seen as a chore by small to medium sized businesses
    • Changing perceptions: • Make software intuitive and intelligent • Minimise the amount of time and effort needed • Value attention to detail, ensure UX is involved with development
    • The rise of UX @ MYOB: • New feature being introduced to software that was predicted to dramatically reduce amount of data entry required • Project team was formed, all the usual suspects but no UX! • Product owner thought he could design the interface...
    • • Interface (wireframe) designed by the product owner • Gathered customer feedback • Customers didn’t understand how to interact with this screen
    • • Interface (wireframe) designed by the iteration manager • Gathered more customer feedback, discovered it still wasn’t very intuitive • After many iterations and failed attempts at this design, a UX designer was hired..
    • • Interface (wireframe) designed by the UX designer • UX designer gained a better understanding of customer needs • Design went through countless iterations • Layout is based on real- world behaviours to promote familiarity with this screen
    • UX Designer’s approach: • Communicate, design processes and work transparently • Create clickable prototype and test interactions not just screen layouts • Bring team members along to weekly usability testing • Record sessions with customers to replay to team
    • What was tested? • Mixture of stories coming up in the backlog, things in analysis that still had unanswered questions • Complicated areas which need more design exploration and discovery Footage of a customer testing an interactive prototype
    • Benefits from this approach: • Lift in morale amongst team, seeing results of their dev work first-hand • Footage of customer struggling with legacy interactions was powerful to change developers habits • Created a hunger for customer feedback
    • Making UX and Agile best friends @ MYOB: • Lean UX preferred over traditional approach for Agile environment • Both Lean UX and Agile encourage little to no documentation • Both are based on iterative circles • Focus on collaboration and cross functional teams
    • Challenges in managing the growing addiction to UX: Three key areas: 1. Expectations as to when and how design should happen
    • Design, then agile development? • Traditional design before development doesn’t work • Tendency for roles to become siloed • Mentality of “I’ll do my work and then throw it over the fence to the developer, and move on to something else..”
    • The IDEAL model… • Design and development are always collaborating; just at different levels and different intensities • Peaks and troughs of development input into the design process and vice versa • UX touch points don’t stop at the beginning of development!Copyright © Scott Turner. @turner_twit
    • • Provide influence and answer questions during backlog grooming • Apply the UX eye and a sanity check during test In this ideal model, the UX designer should... • Pair with the product owner during acceptance • Be available to answer questions during development Copyright © Scott Turner @turner_twit
    • But what if the ideal model can’t happen? • Mentality of leaving uni assignments to the last minute • Think holistically but work iteratively • Presume little time for the design before development Photo by Stewart Black: http://www.flickr.com/photos/s2ublack
    • Design is an iterative process • Design before development doesn’t promote collaboration • Risk of losing the shared vision due to lack of communication • Rework often required
    • Change your mindset! • Work with the team to determine what should be designed first • Short design cycle working collaboratively before testing with users • Get into dev quickly and continue to test along the way • Working collaboratively fosters trust, the team can call on UX when needed
    • Choose the right tool for the job • Use a wide range of tools and techniques when they are really needed • Examples are: sketching with Business Analysts, or pairing with devs to work on interactions • Trust one another to work in this just-in-time approach to development AND design
    • Challenges in managing the growing addiction to UX: Three key areas: 1. Expectations as to when and how design should happen 2. Creating a shared vision for the product
    • Illustration by Jeff Patton & Luke Barrett who re-created the cartoon from an unknown origin. Creating a shared vision for the product • Work together as a family with the Agile team • Don’t be a design hero • Don’t let processes get in the way • Don’t lose your shared vision
    • Agile processes don’t always help • Scrum aims to developing a shippable product at the end of each sprint.. but don’t let this compromise the vision! • Anders Ramsay described it as “Sprint Tunnel Vision” • Constant push and pull for finding the balance of something that meets the needs of its users and is easy to use, and is achievable
    • An example of where Agile processes compromised the vision, and where UX and Design weren’t done iteratively • Shown on the left is the initial mock up created with the shared vision of the team • UX Designer was not involved in some of the key conversations when resources were moved off the project
    • The end result.. • There was a lack of involvement from the UX Designer and the instinctive reaction of the dev team was to cut functionality of the original design • Feels like half a solution and has not been released to customers (shown here)
    • What did we learn? • Agile and Lean UX support change but without effective communication, things fall apart • UX Designer needs to be brought into key conversations, especially when it means changing the deliverable • UX Designer may suggest different ways to reach end goal (pivot)
    • If we were effectively communicating… • UX Designer designed a mini bus, but through stripping functionality the project team only put one seat in it • UX Designer would’ve suggested a pivot, to create a scooter instead Alternative concept: same functionality, less complexity and development time (Scooter)
    • Challenges in managing the growing addiction to UX: Three key areas: 1. Expectations as to when and how design should happen 2. Creating a shared vision for the product 3. Finding the right mix of roles and responsibilities
    • The right mix of roles and team structures
    • What if you can’t have a dedicated UX person? • Common problem in many organisations due to a large range of factors • Something we experience at MYOB as there is not a 1:1 ratio of UX Designers to development teams
    • Managing a UX addiction with little resources • Trust the project team to involve UX when needed • We’ve had to rely on the team let us know when we are really needed at a stand up or for a certain meeting, or to park interaction design topics until the last 20 mins of a meeting, where we are called in
    • Skills transfer and teaching others • Teach others basic UX tools and techniques • Encourage BAs to “have a go” and sketch out ideas, then we’ll collaborate with them on refinements • Involve others in design activities, especially usability testing • Let BAs make small changes to our wireframes
    • So what’s the result of all this?
    • We aren’t looking like an old car any more • Probably still a Volvo: safe, reliable, leader in its class • Something you would be proud to drive; and enjoy driving
    • Be flexible and willing to adapt to change • We will always be finding better ways to work together and this is ok • We’ve got to be open to, and expect more change in the future • By managing and encouraging MYOB’s UX addiction, we’re seeing great improvements in our product, as well as morale
    • Thanks to @smamol for her support and guidance.