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Agile And UX Can They Be Married


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Agile And UX Can They Be Married

  1. 1. Kaushik Ghosh [] Agile & UX: Can they be married?
  2. 2. UX process as a Plug-in to Water fall Model
  3. 3. What are the shortcomings <ul><li>Loss of communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often process data or user input does not get translated into the build </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large chunky PRDs are rarely followed, defeating purpose of detailed documentation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Loss of coordination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Design inputs are so far ahead of development that the co-ordination is lost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often the decision does not flow from product management to Development, rather local sporadic iterations within individual teams lead to fragmented versions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Time & effort management issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bugs and other testing issues take up too much time before the next cycle begins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Target for a stable build always gets postponed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No effective allocation of time for scheduling User Testing for the current release </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UAT bench is always under too much pressure to handle issues at hand and starting on new components </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change requests are difficult to accommodate </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Comparison of Agile and UXD <ul><li>Agile proponents promote </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short development cycles (Internet applications) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More active customer involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smaller ‘feature set’ driven development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>concurrent and modular Analysis, Observation, Development, Testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More manageability and traceability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Agile methods are considered </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lightweight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People-based rather than Plan-based </li></ul></ul><ul><li>UXD practitioners promote </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong focus on the user & work flow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constant iteration with feedback on design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Progression from High level to detail level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consideration of experience from a holistic approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>UXD methods are considered </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Precursor to the development process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal and activity oriented </li></ul></ul>Divergent: [breaks down the process into small components] Convergent: [integrates small components into one unified experience]
  5. 5. Benefits of the marriage <ul><li>Smaller ‘feature set’ driven development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large components will be broken down early to manageable sizes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis, Observation, Development, Testing will be concurrent and modular </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More manageability and traceability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pending issues will not pile up as ‘to be done’, rather they will be scoped in the subsequent quick cycles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Close interaction between the team members ensure immediate attention to issues & concerns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring progress will be based on the Sprints rather than man-weeks or man-months </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Concerns about the marriage <ul><ul><li>The cycles in Agile process tend to get smaller and hence there may be logistical issues for User Task Analysis which are usually done for a combination of feature sets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing on the current build will need to be accommodated within the subsequent cycle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing roadmap and prioritization needs to start well in advance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Management mandates and their impacts would have to be accommodated in the cycles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical platforms, tools and frameworks will have to be taken care of before the process is launched </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What is then the ‘Key’? <ul><ul><li>Integrate UX as a part of the Agile cycles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User stories are developed straight from personas and scenario diagrams, which will be iterated in the following sprints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But it is not wise to use them if one did not have access to users and proxy users in later sprints as they do require to be fleshed out in more detail during the development sprints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>During ‘sprint 0’ the user stories are usually quite high level and can be broken down to the required level of detail during the development sprints. A story will take the form of [- As a <user type> I want <some feature> So that <reason for the feature>.. Index cards can be used and the user (or user advocate / proxy user) is usually encouraged to write the stories themselves under facilitation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change Requests are taken up in parallel with the current sprint form the earlier ones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The UXD team members should act as user representatives armed with the persona and actual feedback findings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simplicity: the art of maximizing the amount of work not done (approaching the Δ) is essential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Proposed Agile UX Process W: Week # UAT: User Acceptance Test PRD: Product Requirement Definition SCRUM: Smallest unit in Agile
  9. 9. Proposed Agile UX Process Timeline