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Cross-Functional Pairing: How it works and why you should be doing it - Ander Ramsay, Jef Bekes, Michael Long


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Anders Ramsay will provide an overview of cross-functional pairing, with Jef Bekes and Mike Long presenting a case study from work done at ThoughtWorks Studios. Topics discussed will include group sketching, use of a prototyping framework, and designing in the browser vs designing with PhotoShop/Wireframes.

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Cross-Functional Pairing: How it works and why you should be doing it - Ander Ramsay, Jef Bekes, Michael Long

  1. 1. Cross-functional PairingWhat it is and why you should be doing itAnders Ramsay JefBekesMike Long | Balanced Team Conference 2011<br />#xpairing @pairingproject<br />Photo Credit:<br />
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  3. 3. Driver<br />Navigator<br />Continuous Ideation/Production/Feedback<br />
  4. 4. 1+1>2<br />Sustained Focus<br />Continuous Debugging<br />Multi-sensory stimulation<br />Knowledge distribution<br />
  5. 5. Why don’t we get to pair?!<br />
  6. 6. X-Functional Pairing<br />Sustained Focus<br />Continuous Debugging<br />Multi-sensory stimulation<br />Knowledge distribution<br />Create an L-Mode/R-Mode Tug-of-War<br />Create a Cross-Disciplinary Loop<br />Get comfortable sharing work in progress<br />Learn to create lean specs<br />
  7. 7. Linear-Mode<br />Logical, Step-by-step<br />“Gives you the power to work through details and make it happen.”<br />Rich-Mode<br />Non-linear, Intuitive<br />Holistic, Asynchronous<br />Non-verbal (e.g. visual)<br />
  8. 8. Cross-Disciplinary Feedback Loop<br />
  9. 9. Get Comfortable SharingWork in progress<br />
  10. 10. Get Comfortable Creating Lean Specs<br />
  11. 11. Also…be sure you are doing a complete feedback loop…<br />Think<br />Make<br />Check<br />
  12. 12. When is a good time to x-pair?<br />Do this first…<br />Big Picture Design/User Flow/Sketch-level UI<br />Ideal time to x-pair…<br />During a sprint, solving a narrowly defined problem<br />
  13. 13. Is it all roses?<br />Less or no continuous debugging<br />Risk of tunnel-vision/solving wrong problem<br />Designer/Developer dynamic can become stressful/aggravating<br />
  14. 14. Case Study…<br />Mingle Planner<br />
  15. 15. Product group at Agile software development company<br />Implementing Agile UX practices:<br /><ul><li>Design pattern libraries
  16. 16. Lo-fi sketches > interactive prototypes
  17. 17. Designing in the browser, refining in the codebase</li></ul>We require our UX designers to be unicorns technical (HTML/CSS/Javascript) and analytical <br />
  18. 18. Case Study: Mingle Planner<br /><ul><li>Intervening in a project that lacked focus and a conceptual framework
  19. 19. Collaborative sessions to map out high-level concepts, relationships, and organizing principles
  20. 20. Analysis by design > rough sketch of key paths and UI</li></li></ul><li>Whiteboard Sketch:<br />Product Concepts and Relationships<br />
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  22. 22. Interactive Pattern Library<br />
  23. 23.
  24. 24. What we did<br /><ul><li>Leverage pattern library to (quickly) build out an interactive prototype (HTML/CSS/Javascript)
  25. 25. User prototype to validate conceptual framework and UI framework
  26. 26. Prototype becomes a living document/style guide for developers
  27. 27. Designing in the browser > designing in the codebase</li></li></ul><li>Interactive Prototype<br />(HTML/CSS/jQuery/Highcharts)<br />
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  29. 29. Thanks!<br />Anders Ramsay - @andersramsay<br />JefBekes - @jbekes<br />Mike Long –<br />P.s. check out<br />