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User Experience Design + Agile: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

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User Experience Design + Agile: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

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There's a rumor going around that user experience design (UXD) and Agile don't play well together. In this talk, I'll explain that they do -- most of the time! Learn about the historical reasons for why these two disciplines sometimes butt heads, as well as the good/bad/ugly of various approaches to integrating design and development.

There's a rumor going around that user experience design (UXD) and Agile don't play well together. In this talk, I'll explain that they do -- most of the time! Learn about the historical reasons for why these two disciplines sometimes butt heads, as well as the good/bad/ugly of various approaches to integrating design and development.

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User Experience Design + Agile: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

  1. 1. User Experience Design + Agile – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly by Joshua Randall for Front End Columbus July 8, 2021
  2. 2. Agenda • Introduction: Who am I? Why am I here? • Definitions • What is Agile? • What is User Experience Design? • The UX-er and the Agilist Should Be Friends! • Why Can't We Get Along? • Attempts at Reconciliation • The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of… • Outside Agency • "Internal Agency" • Embedded Team Members • Summary and Conclusion • Questions and Answers
  3. 3. The Always Asked For Slide Deck URL goes here
  4. 4. Disclaimers I represent only myself, not my employer. Agile and User Experience Design are both big topics. This is an informational presentation, not a how-to.
  5. 5. Introduction
  6. 6. Who am I? Why am I here? image sources: YouTube; phelch66 on Wordpress
  7. 7. Who am I? (really) • Joshua Randall, Product Designer at RevLocal • Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy • Master’s degree in UX Design from Kent State University • 20 years as an I.T. business analyst • 15 years as an Agile enthusiast (including CSM) • Fully invested in UXD 8 years ago
  8. 8. Why am I here? 2019: 105 million results 2021: 188 million results
  9. 9. Definitions
  10. 10. What is Agile?
  11. 11. Agile, as defined by my favorite Agilist … there [is] no unified Agile method. There never has been, and never will be. Agile is three things: the name, the values, and the principles. That’s it. It’s not something you can do. It’s a philosophy. A way of thinking about software development. You can’t “use” Agile or “do” Agile... you can only be Agile. James Shore source: James Shore, Art of Agile Development v2, “What is Agile?”
  12. 12. That’s Great, James, but really… what is Agile? • Rely on people. • Deliver value. • Eliminate waste. • Seek technical excellence. • Improve your process. source: James Shore, Art of Agile Development v2, “What is Agile?” Oh and also… Agile also usually means 1. Incremental 2. Iterative
  13. 13. What is UX Design?
  14. 14. UX, as defined by the coiner of the term "User experience" encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products. Distinguish UX from the user interface (UI). Distinguish UX from usability. − Usability is a quality attribute with five components (learnability, efficiency, memorability, errors, satisfaction). source: Don Norman
  15. 15. Better definitions of UX? source: Keith Instone, “Spins on UX” (spin.dexterityux.com)
  16. 16. What is design? Design, verb: • To conceive and plan out in the mind • To devise for a specific function or end • (and yes, “to draw the plans for”) Design, noun: • Deliberate purposive planning • An underlying scheme that governs functioning, developing, or unfolding; pattern, motif • The arrangement of elements or details in a product or work of art source: webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1983)
  17. 17. The (Vast!) UX Landscape source: Darren Hood, 2016
  18. 18. The UX Umbrella source: @UXLinks on Twitter
  19. 19. source: Jesse James Garrett (jjg.net/elements) The Elements of UX: Layers
  20. 20. The Elements of UX: Software Interface and Hypertext System source: Jesse James Garrett (jjg.net/elements) Linear time from objectives, then specifications, then various types of design, and only then completion … where have I heard this before?
  21. 21. Agile Manifesto, but no UX Manifesto? Jakob Nielsen's 10 Usability Heuristics (1994) 1. Visibility of system status 2. Match between system and the real world 3. User control and freedom 4. Consistency and standards 5. Error prevention 6. Recognition rather than recall 7. Flexibility and efficiency of use 8. Aesthetic and minimalist design 9. Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors 10. Help and documentation Source: Jakob Nielsen (nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/)
  22. 22. The UX-er and the Agilist Should Be Friends!
  23. 23. UX and Agile Overlap User Experience Agile User Stories often recommends User Needs User-Centered Design recognize importance of are the focus of is a part of the larger landscape of should be best friends with
  24. 24. some Extreme Programming (XP) principles and roughly analogous UX and Design Thinking concepts Think • Informative Workspace • Root Cause Analysis • Retrospectives Collaborate • Sit Together • Ubiquitous Language • Coding Standards Release • "Done Done" Empathize / Define • pictures everywhere! • validate assumptions • Design Review Ideate • not done, historically • Information Architecture • Design Systems Prototype (?) • ??? sources: James Shore (The Art of Agile Development); Interaction Design Foundation
  25. 25. Plan • Vision • Release and Iteration Planning • User Stories Develop • Incremental Requirements • Customer Tests • Simple Design • Incremental Design Define / Ideate • Ideate • Customer Journey Mapping • User Need Statements Prototype / Test • not a UXD strength, historically • Usability Testing • Simplicity (Dieter Rams) • Progressive Enhancement some Extreme Programming (XP) principles and roughly analogous UX and Design Thinking concepts sources: James Shore (The Art of Agile Development); Interaction Design Foundation
  26. 26. Why Can't We Get Along?
  27. 27. So why don't Agile and UX get along? UXD is historically waterfall-y, because… −Alan Cooper was wrong. −Kim Goodwin is highly influential. Also: −Steve Krug is overly optimistic about research.
  28. 28. Alan Cooper was wrong The Inmates are Running the Asylum, Chapter 3: Wasting Money "Generally, programmers aren't thrilled about the iterative method because it means extra work for them. Typically, it's managers new to technology who like the iterative process because it relieves them of having to perform rigorous planning, thinking, and product due diligence (in other words, interaction design). Of course, it's the users who pay the dearest price. They have to suffer through one halfhearted attempt after another before they get a program that isn't too painful." Poor Alan! Can you show me on the doll where the bad software development process hurt you?
  29. 29. Alan Cooper was wrong Inmates, Chapter 12: Desperately Seeking Usability "Iteration never creates great products." Inmates, Chapter 13: A Managed Process "Getting to the right product is always a matter of iterating. It always takes several tries to get the details right. With interaction design done in advance, the number of iterations it takes can be reduced significantly. There is enormous cost in each new version of a product, so if you can reduce the version count from, say, four to two, there is a lot of time and money to be saved." LOLWhut? At least make up your mind!
  30. 30. Kim Goodwin is highly influential Designing for the Digital Age is used as a textbook in many UXD programs. First book to explain how to do a design project (the way agencies do one, anyway). ”The Bible of UX Design" image source: Wiley Publishing
  31. 31. Goodwin sometimes mocks Agile… Designing for the Digital Age, Chapter 12: Defining Requirements "Many software engineers throw up their hands and say it’s impossible to understand the requirements until you start building the thing, so we should all just use agile methods to iterate until we get there. […] The engineers who think a textual requirements document can never provide a complete or accurate picture of the eventual product are also correct; there’s no way to have stakeholders agree on a complete and accurate list until they have something to look at. It’s not necessary to build the product to figure this out, though; it’s cheaper, faster, and more effective for designers to 'build' the product in sketches."
  32. 32. … or damns Agile with faint praise Designing for the Digital Age, Chapter 21: Detailed Design "Agile methods are most successful with small teams of skilled engineers who are working on fairly simple products. These methods fail on large-scale IT projects." "Agile methods and Goal-Directed Design are similar in that both involve iterative approaches, small teams, and an emphasis on frequent communication and visible work product. For the two approaches to work together, engineers need to agree that designers have something important to add, and that it’s best for the design team to do their own 'iterations' in sketches to reduce the amount of time wasted on badly articulated requirements before the first coding sprint begins."
  33. 33. In fairness, Goodwin is on to something here: Designing for the Digital Age, Chapter 21: Detailed Design "With the current popularity of agile software engineering approaches, many designers are being asked to provide 'light' documentation, such as sketches with a few notes. This can work well if you have an established visual system, a relatively uncomplicated product, and a small engineering team working closely with you. However, large or distributed engineering teams can’t all collaborate closely with you, and the more engineers there are on a project, the greater the likelihood of inconsistency in skills, judgment, and interpretation of loosely defined specs. Less-skilled engineers are likely to take shortcuts based on what’s easier to code if there’s any ambiguity in the spec. Any time you don’t have a very close relationship with the engineers, such as when your company is outsourcing development, specificity is essential."
  34. 34. Steve Krug is overly optimistic Don't Make Me Think (originally 2000; 3rd ed. 2014) Rocket Surgery Made Easy (2010) • Krug is one of the fathers of discount usability testing. • From "a morning a month" to "a morning every iteration". Eek! • Recruiting people is the killer. You can't move that fast unless it's someone's full-time job or you outsource the job. • Remote, unmoderated testing is another solution.
  35. 35. Attempts at Reconciliation
  36. 36. Early Efforts (2003, 2005) Gary Macomber and Thyra Rauch (IBM), Adopting Agility at USE 2003. "Described and sketched out the intertwining of UX and Development during an Agile process." Lynn Miller paper presented at the Agile Development Conference 2005. Mentioned "interconnected parallel design and development tracks."
  37. 37. Staggered Sprints (Desirée Sy, 2007) source: Journal of Usability Studies
  38. 38. Dual Track Agile (Marty Cagan, 2012) source: Silicon Valley Product Group blog
  39. 39. The Lean UX Cycle (Gothelf & Seiden, 2013) image source: Lean UX / O'Reilly Media
  40. 40. Seems like they're glossing over some things…. image source: Sidney Harris, sciencecartoonsplus.com
  41. 41. Lean UX User Validation Schedule image source: Lean UX / O'Reilly Media Great idea! Turns out it's really hard, though….
  42. 42. Design Sprint (Google Ventures, 2012-2016)
  43. 43. The Google Design Sprint Promise "Working together in a sprint, you can shortcut the endless-debate cycle and compress months of time into a single week." Really? That seems too good to be true. How exactly do we do this?
  44. 44. The Google Design Sprint Operational Details "On Monday, you’ll map out the problem and pick an important place to focus. On Tuesday, you’ll sketch competing solutions on paper. On Wednesday, you’ll make difficult decisions and turn your ideas into a testable hypothesis. On Thursday, you’ll hammer out a high-fidelity prototype. And on Friday, you’ll test it with real live humans." "With your team (and your research findings!) in one place, figure out what you’re going to do next. Usually, you’ll want to update the prototype to fix some problems, create a new higher-fidelity prototype, or decide to focus on a new set of questions and assumptions to tackle. You’ll almost certainly want to plan another design sprint to continue designing your product."
  45. 45. the Google Design Sprint isn't Agile – it's fast waterfall • Monday: map out problem; pick place to focus • Tuesday: sketch competing solutions on paper • Wednesday: make difficult decisions; turn ideas into testable hypotheses • Thursday: create a high-fidelity prototype • Friday: test it • Thereafter: • update the prototype • create a new higher-fidelity prototype • focus on new set of questions and assumptions • plan another design sprint
  46. 46. NN/g puts its finger on a problem (2017) from "Agile is not Easy for UX" by Page Laubheimer "The orthodox Scrum process doesn’t work well for UX, because UX wasn’t originally considered in the Scrum definition. Scrum is a technology-centric process, focusing on small, independent units of work (typically in the form of user stories) that make sense from a computer-science perspective, but are tricky from a user- centric standpoint. Users don’t interact only with small parts of our designs in isolation, they use our products to accomplish larger goals, and all pieces of our designs must all work together harmoniously to provide a good user experience." source: Nielsen Norman Group (nngroup.com/articles/agile-not-easy-ux/)
  47. 47. At Least It’s Not on Fire? (2018) from ”Agile UX: It’s Not As Bad As You Think" by Becky Bristol and Nicole Derr "As Agile has become the standard working model for development teams, UXers are, oftentimes grudgingly, learning to integrate into existing Agile development teams. But few are exploring how a UX team can use Agile techniques, and perhaps more importantly an Agile mindset, to improve team performance and morale. It turns out that when done right, Agile can help UXers achieve personal and strategic goals, giving value and purpose to the problems UX teams face daily." source: User Experience Magazine (https://uxpamagazine.org/agile-ux/)
  48. 48. Scrum.org gets in the game (2019) Bridging the Gap Between Scrum, UX, and Design Practices Professional Scrum with User Experience (PSU) is a 2- day hands-on course where students learn how to integrate modern UX practices into Scrum. Students will learn UX techniques that work most effectively with Scrum Teams. You will learn how to handle design work that may extend beyond a single Sprint. source: paraphrased from the Scrum.org course description
  49. 49. AUX3 (Smith, Rauch, and Moyers, 2019) source: Journal of Usability Studies
  50. 50. Forrester Research (2021) Agile And Design Teams: Better Together Companies are adopting agile frameworks and adding designers to their delivery teams to improve digital experience development efforts. But these two constituencies don't rely on the same workflow, artifacts, or ceremonies — and often struggle to find common ground as a result. This report for experience design (XD) pros explains how to help these two worlds join forces to create better together — improving customer experiences and building a more collaborative, customer-centric company culture. source: Forrester Research
  51. 51. All These Diagrams Remind Me of Sawblades
  52. 52. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
  53. 53. "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" (in English) 1966 film directed by Sergio Leone Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef features one of the all- time great scores by Ennio Morricone
  54. 54. UXD model: Outside Agency Good agency can be purely UXD focused agencies often own significant expertise Bad contract negotiation over customer collaboration process differences between agency and internal teams Ugly fixation on "comps” maximum separation between teams
  55. 55. UXD model: "Internal Agency" Good Center of Excellence model protects UXD team from politics Bad there's a gatekeeper spread thin, thus hard to build deep domain expertise Ugly may lead to us-vs.-them mentality many of the weaknesses of external agency with none of the strengths
  56. 56. UXD model: Embedded on Product Team Good true, cross- functional team Bad UX-er can be overwhelmed by amount of work embedded UX- er unlikely to be equally good at all aspects of UXD Ugly skill level differences from team to team can lead to jealousy and work spilling outside the team
  57. 57. Summary and Conclusion
  58. 58. Summary • UX encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products. • UX includes both UI and usability, among many other disciplines. • Agile and UX should be friends because both put users' needs at their center. • But, UX's roots include hostility towards and misunderstanding of Agile. • Attempts at reconciliation typically propose parallel tracks and frequent handoffs. • UX models (external agency; embedded on a team; "internal agency") each have strengths and weaknesses.
  59. 59. Recommendations • Sit together. (Even if "they" don't let you.) • Talk to each other! • Build design systems, pattern libraries, coding standards. • Be willing to refactor. • Do UX research. • Plan. (Yes, it's part of Agile.)
  60. 60. Questions and Answers
  61. 61. Stuff to Jot Down While I Take Questions Joshua Randall on… • email: joshua.randall@gmail.com • LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/joshua-randall-3931257 • Twitter: @jrAccessibility (I just lurk) UXPA Cleveland chapter uxpacleveland.org/events This Here Slide Deck URL goes here
  62. 62. References
  63. 63. References Cagan, Marty. "The internal agency model." Silicon Valley Product Group blog. 2014 September 25. svpg.com/the-internal-agency-model/ Cooper, Alan. The Inmates are Running the Asylum. 2004. Sams. Dam, Rikke and Siang, Teo. "5 Stages in the Design Thinking Process". 2019 March. Interaction Design Foundation. www.interaction- design.org/literature/article/5-stages-in-the-design-thinking-process Design Council. "The Design Process: What is the Double Diamond?" www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/design-process-what-double-diamond Garrett, Jesse James. "The Elements of User Experience". 2000. www.jjg.net/elements/ Goodwin, Kim. Designing for the Digital Age. 2009. Wiley Publishing.
  64. 64. References Gothelf, Jeff. "How to build an Agile UX team: the culture." Smashing Magazine. 2011 October 18. www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/10/how-to-build-an-agile-ux- team-culture/ Gothelf, Jeff and Seiden, Josh. Lean UX. 2016. O'Reilly. Instone, Keith. “Spins on UX.” 2021. spin.dexterityux.com Knapp, Jake. Sprint: how to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days. 2016. Simon & Schuster. Krug, Steve. Don't Make Me Think, 3rd edition. 2014. New Riders. Krug, Steve. Rocket Surgery Made Easy. 2009. New Riders. Laubheimer, Page. "Agile is not easy for UX." Nielsen Norman Group. 2017 September 24. www.nngroup.com/articles/agile-not-easy-ux/
  65. 65. References Miller, Lynn. "Case Study of Customer Input for a Successful Product." Agile Development Conference. 2005. Müller, Thiago. "Struggling to find the best format for your UX team?". 2018 June 10. UX Collective (Medium). uxdesign.cc/struggling-to-find-the-best-format-for- your-ux-team-a5cce8000b0b Naji, Cassandra. "How to build an in-house UX team." Usability Geek. 2017 June 14. usabilitygeek.com/how-to-build-in-house-ux-team/ Nielsen, Jakob. "10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design". 1994. Nielsen Norman Group. www.nngroup.com/articles/ten-usability-heuristics/ Norman, Don and Nielsen, Jakob. "The Definition of User Experience". Nielsen Norman Group. www.nngroup.com/articles/definition-user-experience/
  66. 66. References Shore, James. The Art of Agile Development. 2021. www.jamesshore.com/v2/books/aoad2 Smith, Carol; Rauch, Thyra; and Moyers, Hannah. "AUX3: Making UX Research Track with Agile". 2019 March. Journal of Usability Studies. uxpamagazine.org/aux3-making-ux-research-track-with-agile/ Sy, Desirée. "Adapting Usability Investigations for Agile User-Centered Design". 2007. Journal of Usability Studies. uxpajournal.org/adapting-usability- investigations-for-agile-user-centered-design/

Editor's Notes

  • "User Experience Design plus Agile: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly", presented by Joshua Randall at the Front End Columbus meetup on July 8, 2021.
  • A few disclaimers before we begin.

    I currently work at RevLocal. The lawyers told me to say that I do not in any way speak for RevLocal. Also, while you can easily figure out where I worked in the past, I don’t speak for any of those companies, either.

    Agile and UX Design are both big topics – giant domains of knowledge with multiple points of view. I can only touch on them in the time we have together.

    Finally, this is an informational presentation, not a how-to. I’ll go over some patterns I’ve observed and give you my thoughts on pros and cons, but the nitty gritty how-to is another presentation.
  • This is the section heading slide for the “Introduction”. There’s no actual content on it.
  • Who am I? Why am I here?

    That’s a famous phrase – or maybe infamous is a better term. Does anyone in the audience remember it?

    No? Maybe if I show you this fellow?

    This is Admiral James Stockdale, who was the vice presidential running mate for H. Ross Perot, the third-party candidate back in 1992. Stockdale opened the vice presidential debate with the immortal phrase, “Who am I? Why am I here?”

    (Further reading on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Stockdale#Vice-Presidential_candidacy )

    image sources:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1w3FgB0Ohc (puzzled look)
    https://phelch66.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/0_21_0706_stockdale.jpg (gesturing)
  • So who am I, really? My name is Joshua Randall and I’m a product designer at RevLocal, which provides digital marketing services for local businesses.

    I have a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, which goes to show that you never know where your career will take you.

    I have a master’s degree in User Experience Design from Kent State University.

    I worked as an information technology business analyst for 20 years, mostly at big Cleveland companies: American Greetings, Progressive Insurance, Medical Mutual, and Sherwin-Williams among others.

    Almost 15 ago I joined an Agile project at Progressive Insurance, and I’ve been an Agile enthusiast ever since. My first love is Extreme Programming (XP), but I am also a Certified ScrumMaster.

    I became interested in User Experience Design about eight years ago. I started attending User Experience Professional Association (UXPA) meetings and eventually joined the board.
  • Why am I here?

    I’m here because XXX

    I admitted to him that I doubted my own knowledge compared to how much has been written on each of these topics separately in addition to what’s already been written about how to do UX within Agile.

    When I gave a version of this presentation in 2019 there were 105 million results on Google for “Agile user experience” or Agile UX”. Two years later there are over 188 million results… interestingly, a lot more for the phrase “use experience” than for the abbreviation “ux”.

    Regardless, I'm pleased to say that after a weekend of cramming, I've read those 188 million results and I can now summarize my findings [pause for laughter]

    But seriously -- let me tell you my thoughts on these topics.
  • This is the section heading slide for the “Definitions” section. There’s no actual content on it.
  • This is the section heading slide for the “What is Agile?” section. There’s no actual content on it.
  • https://www.jamesshore.com/v2/books/aoad2/what_is_agile

  • https://www.jamesshore.com/v2/books/aoad2/what_is_agile

  • This is the section heading slide for the “What is UX Design” section. There’s no actual content on it.
  • Norman, Don and Nielsen, Jakob. "The Definition of User Experience". Nielsen Norman Group. http://www.nngroup.com/articles/definition-user-experience
  • http://spin.dexterityux.com/

    My colleague Keith Instone has a presentation he calls “Spins on UX” in which he goes over a variety of definitions of the term. And he points out the the classic Don Norman definition leaves a lot to be desired, because it’s simultaneously too vague, and also old fashioned – leaving out services and brands (as opposed to products) as well as organizations.
  • The other term we need to define is the D in UXD – design. Here you see the definitions I pulled from the old dictionary I have in my office; I chose that on on purpose because its publication date of 1983 predates the modern internet.

    The key aspect of the word design whether as verb or noun is that design requires intention. Design is not accidental. You can make haphazard decisions when designing something, but you are still making decisions.
  • Another way to answer the question ‘What is UX?’ is to consider the vast landscape that term encompasses.

    This slide from Darren Hood gives you a sense for how big this domain of knowledge can be. I don’t expect you to be able to read all the small words, but look at the big ones. We can conceptualize UX in 4 main groups.

    user research, which is the underpinning of all design work
    information architecture, which is how we organize and label information
    interaction design & interface design, which encompasses activities like wireframing and visual design; and
    interaction design: what's on the screen and how people use it - focuses on how people interact with the product (hence the name) - goals, ergonomics, etc.
    interface design: what those elements look like - proximity, color, negative space, typography, etc.
    heuristics & usability, which is how we evaluate our designs against best practices or against real-world uses of them
  • https://twitter.com/uxlinks/status/729216789519937536
  • Sources

    Art of Agile Development

    Design Thinking IDF article
    https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/5-stages-in-the-design-thinking-process
  • Sources

    Art of Agile Development

    Design Thinking IDF article
    https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/5-stages-in-the-design-thinking-process

  • This is the section heading slide for the "Why Can't We Get Along?" section. There’s no actual content on it.
  • Inmates – 2004
  • Image source: https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Designing+for+the+Digital+Age%3A+How+to+Create+Human+Centered+Products+and+Services-p-9780470229101
  • image source: https://usabilitygeek.com/marrying-user-centered-design-agile-software-development-process-tips-success/

    article source: http://uxpajournal.org/adapting-usability-investigations-for-agile-user-centered-design/

  • Image source: https://www.oreilly.com/learning/integrating-lean-ux-and-agile

    Article source: https://svpg.com/dual-track-agile/
    (for the date)

    See also Jeff Patton's explanation, https://www.jpattonassociates.com/dual-track-development/
  • Image source: https://learning.oreilly.com/library/view/lean-ux-2nd/9781491953594/ch04.html
  • Image source: http://www.sciencecartoonsplus.com/pages/gallery.php
  • Image source https://www.oreilly.com/learning/integrating-lean-ux-and-agile
  • Source: https://www.gv.com/sprint/


  • https://library.gv.com/the-gv-research-sprint-interview-participants-and-summarize-findings-day-4-3d34792baa3f
  • Source: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/agile-not-easy-ux/
  • Source: https://uxpamagazine.org/agile-ux/

    In 2018 there’s an article in the magazine of the UXPA titled “Agile UX: It’s Not As Bad As You Think.” This reminds me of those jokes people tell in Cleveland, like, “At least we’re not Detroit.”

    It strikes me that any time you have to use the word ‘grudgingly’ you have a steep uphill climb, and maybe there is some underlying reason for people’s disgruntlement. We also see the phrase ‘when done right’ which puts me in mind of those late-night college discussions about how Communism would be great ‘when done right’, but pesky real people keep doing it wrong. So if Agile-ized UX only works ‘when done right’ then I believe there’s a serious underlying problem with both Agile and UX. If they are too hard for pesky real people to do right, then rather than try to change human behavior, maybe we need to change our approach.

    I have to pause here to state that one of the authors of this article, Nicole Derr, is a friend of mine; and I have served on a board with Becky Bristol. So I only mock them with love.
  • Source: https://www.scrum.org/courses/professional-scrum-user-experience-training
  • Source http://uxpamagazine.org/aux3-making-ux-research-track-with-agile/

    The model we are introducing—AUX3 (Agile UX with 3 Tracks)—explicitly defines and supports the time and effort needed for the full UX cycle. We provide evidence in this article that AUX3 embraces the complexity of UX while keeping up with the fast-moving train of Agile.

    In AUX3, we propose organizing UX work into three tracks to expose the three different types of work: Learning (research methods such as ethnography), Problem Solving (wireframes, interaction design, and so on), and Execution (visual design, design language development, and so on).

  • Source: https://www.forrester.com/report/Agile+And+Design+Teams+Better+Together/-/E-RES152595#

    Forrester Research makes an important point in this January 2021 research report: that we have two different disciplines with different cultures. If Agile and UX were different tribes of people, we would *expect* them to clash precisely *because* of their lack of shared artifacts and ceremonies.

    Now obviously in human cultures, tribes of people have come together and blended, adopting each other’s cultures and creating a new blended culture. But that takes a long time, and both Agile and UX are relatively immature disciplines on a human scale. Think of it this way: you can plausibly be old enough that in your working lifespan, you were working before either Agile or UX were invented.

  • As a final point – many of the recommendations in these articles show a back-and-forth handoff of work from the Agile team to the UX Designer, or some kind of intertwined sprints, separate for each discipline yet overlapping.

    What else makes those V shapes and is used in a back-and-forth motion? A saw. And like using a sawblade to cut through wood, I think that keeping your Agile and UXD teams separate is going to end up cutting your teams apart.
  • Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo or as we know it, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, is an absolutely fantastic movie. If you ever get the chance to see it on the big screen, do so, because Sergio Leone’s use of the vast widescreen canvas in spectacular. Also it has an instantly recognizable score that is as much a character in the movie as Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, or Lee Van Cleef.

    But this isn’t the film studies meetup so you probably want to hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly of some approaches to integrating agile and UXD.
  • This is the section heading slide for the “Summary and Conclusion”. There’s no actual content on it.

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