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The importance of identity and vision to UX designers on agile projects

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Talk, Agile2009 conference in Chicago.
Exploring a UX perspective on agile. Based on MSc project research, University College London, 2008.

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The importance of identity and vision to UX designers on agile projects

  1. Agile 2009 Johanna Kollmann, Helen Sharp & Ann Blandford The importance of identity and vision to UX designers on agile projects
  2. @johannakoll
  3. Introduction Research method Results & Analysis Conclusion
  4. Introduction Research method Results & Analysis Conclusion
  5. Waterfall doesn‘t work for me. http://www.flickr.com/photos/shadphotos/1312528502/
  6. Agile & UX - a perfect match? http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurenbennett/3819786633/
  7. Methods & techniques  Working ahead  Using lightweight tools  Adapting agile methods
  8. Integrating communities  UX designers as active participants  Risks and opportunities of collaboration
  9. So how do they play it? http://www.flickr.com/photos/euan_forrester/2322625115/
  10. Introduction Research method Results & Analysis Conclusion
  11. Qualitative approach  Interviews  Contextual observation
  12. Interview outline  Understanding of agile  Methods & tools  End user involvement  Collaboration & work environment
  13. Interview participants in-house freelance digital agency UX consultancy
  14. Observations  One interaction designer  In-house team  Explore and revise interview analysis
  15. Introduction Research method Results & Analysis Conclusion
  16. Results & Analysis  Interview analysis  Observation insights  Discussion
  17. Results & Analysis  Interview analysis  Observation insights  Discussion
  18. Identity http://www.flickr.com/photos/sozesoze/320117614/
  19. An agile mindset  Agile is a way of thinking
  20. “ I guess my first impression of agile was that it's a framework, but it definitely affects your way of thinking , in a kind of philosophical sense in some respect....
  21. “ ...so that the way that we approach tasks or problems or things within the brief are fundamentally different from how we would approach them in a waterfall manner.” – P4
  22. An agile mindset  A way of thinking  Flexibility and sufficiency
  23. “ I don't ever believe in the right products, it's never gonna be right . I think that sits at the core of agile mentality. Which is actually good in some ways, but it's kind of counter-intuitive design mentality .” - P8
  24. An agile mindset  A way of thinking  Flexibility and sufficiency  The smarter approach
  25. “ It's very important for us as UX designers and creatives to be able to talk and feedback and find better ways to work with developers, because that's inherently the problem. ” – P6
  26. Roles & responsibilities  Communication hub
  27. Roles & responsibilities  Communication hub  Blending of roles
  28. “ It's blending it all together. Equally developers need to be more skilled at design. As not to say they should do design, I should do code, but we need to be able to speak each others language . ” – P2
  29. Roles & responsibilities  Communication hub  Blending of roles  End user advocate
  30. “ Essentially I was advocate for the user (...) I was an advisor, a sort of a consultant within the team on UX issues. ” – P5
  31. Vision http://www.flickr.com/photos/nadavdov/2228281013/
  32. “ It’s not only about understanding users, but also about understanding clients: If you don't get your foundation right, it's dangerous.” - P6
  33. Participants found it challenging to establish, evaluate and develop the UX vision
  34. Interim sprint zeros: “ (...) time to make sure that we are happy from a user perspective, that things are getting done in the right way and everything's prioritised correctly”. - P4
  35. The risk of losing the UX vision was named as a big disadvantage of agile
  36. Pro: agile facilitates communicating and protecting the UX vision.
  37. Integrating the end user perspective http://www.flickr.com/photos/spiderpops/169966925/
  38. “ Fitting user research in is the hardest thing.” - P8
  39. Strategies to include end users  Working ahead: up-front research  Satellite designer: outsourcing research  Just do it: lightweight research
  40. “ I think there are so many problems to solve that we don't really need to get tied up in how methodologically sound it is. It comes down to being a sensible researcher. ” - P7
  41. Results & Analysis  Interview analysis  Observation insights  Discussion
  42. Identity  Team mindset  Impact of organisational structure and perception of UX  Pros and cons of being a communication hub
  43. Vision  The importance of a shared team vision  Collaboration tools: the question board
  44. “ It shows where what team members think is important clashes, so it facilitates discussion . And it helps to find out who to talk to about things.” - Backend developer
  45. Results & Analysis  Interview analysis  Observation insights  Discussion
  46. UX practitioners’ attitude towards agile matters. A lot.
  47. Benefit of agile: co-location and collaboration facilitate bridging the gap and overcoming silos.
  48. If the UX team is too small or not structured appropriately, user-centredness is the first thing that’s compromised .
  49. Sprint zero is not sufficient to establish a vision. To guide strategic decisions and activities, user research has to take place before agile development starts.
  50. Introduction Research method Results & Analysis Conclusion
  51. Implications for practitioners (1)  Become a design facilitator and active participant  Align UX team members around a clear vision and make sure your project‘s vision is clear, too
  52. Implications for practitioners (2)  Consider user panels , test no matter what, combine evaluative and generative research  Explore lightweight methods and agile tools  Use interim sprint-zeros to reflect on and refine your vision
  53. Areas for future research  Impact of co-location (or the lack of it)  Exploration of different environments and contexts (e.g. in-house vs. freelancers, web vs. mobile applications)
  54. Agile 2009 Johanna Kollmann, Helen Sharp & Ann Blandford The importance of identity and vision to UX designers on agile projects

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