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Rapid Product Design in the Wild, Agile 2013

My Agile 2013 session 'Rapid Product Design in the Wild'. In August 2012 Red Gate attended Kscope, a conference for Oracle developers. Instead of doing the usual product demonstrations, we turned our stand into a live lab and took Agile development processes out of the office and in front of our customers. Our stand included an area for customer research, a Kanban board and information radiators in the form of a whiteboard, blank wall and a large digital screen. Over 3 days we ran 9 sprints and conducted 25 customer interviews, using a paper prototype to get feedback. We collected invaluable information about our customers' development environments, how they work with their teams, their processes, tasks and pain points. By the end of the conference my colleague had developed an interactive HTML/CSS prototype which potential customers could evaluate. The team went through several rapid build-measure-learn cycles to improve our product concept and validate the market need.

This presentation explains the process we used and introduces the Live Design Lab Planner, a tool which helps teams to plan this type of rapid product design activity.

Rapid Product Design in the Wild, Agile 2013

  1. Rapid product design in the wild Agile 2013, Nashville Michele Ide-Smith @micheleidesmith
  2. About me • User Experience Designer, Sketchnoter, co- organiser of the Cambridge Usability Group • Previously a…<Developer, Project Manager, Information Architect, Head of Interactive, Web Strategy Manager> working in <digital agency, local government, software company> • Agile since 2008 @micheleidesmith
  3. Red Gate makes database and .NET tooling
  4. “To make excellent products that truly understand our users’ contexts, we must look further, and investigate context first-hand” Cennydd Bowles
  6. What makes you visit an exhibition stand at a conference?
  8. “By the time the product is “Marketing that itself ready, it will already have improves peoples lives.” established customers.” Bob Gilbreath Eric Ries
  9. “We wanted to make sure we were getting customer feedback as we worked so that we were never working on anything that wasn’t valued by the customer.” Nordstrom Innovation Lab: Sunglasses iPad App
  10. “if you’ve struggled to figure out how UX design can work in an Agile environment, Lean UX can help.” Jeff Gothelf, author of Lean UX Some principles: • Continuous discovery • Shared understanding • GOOB (Get Out Of the Building) • Externalising your work
  11. Hypothesis: Oracle Developers & DBAs need a better way to source control their database schemas >70% interest – develop a tool a.s.a.p.
  12. Let’s watch a short video about the case study
  13. 9 (mini) sprints, 3 days, 1 prototype
  14. Making our processes transparent
  15. 25 feedback sessions with users
  16. Easy to get feedback and quick to changeLo-fi prototypes are quick and easy to change before you commit to code
  17. Helped build personas and a talking point!People returned to see the feedback we had gathered throughout the conference
  18. The Empathy Map helped us understand customer needs
  19. Creating an ‘affinity map’ helped to quickly analyse feedback about features
  20. Sketching out processes and environments identified real-world scenarios and pain points
  21. It’s all about communication…
  22. …and collaboration
  23. Feedback went directly into the HTML/CSS prototype, using Twitter Bootstrap
  24. Keep the conversation going
  25. Surveys to test hypotheses
  26. Interviews and remote usability testing on prototype
  27. Releasing functionality early and getting feedback
  28. “The live lab was a wonderful idea. I enjoyed participating in it and can't wait to see the finished product. Let me know if you need a beta tester.” Christoph Ruepprich, Oracle Developer
  29. • Introducing the Live Design Lab Planner • Split into groups • Choose a scenario • Fill out the Live Design Lab Planner • Feedback to the group Now it’s your turn to plan a live design lab!
  30. Live Design Lab Planner Hypothesis Lab location Data collection & analysis Team roles We believe that [building this product/feature] [for these people] will achieve [this outcome]* Where will you reach your customers? E.g. in store, trade show, public place Who will be running the live design lab? What are their roles? How will you record observations? How will you analyse data on the fly? How will you set up the lab? What equipment and materials will you need to take with you? Lab equipment A tool to help plan and run rapid product design in the wild Measure of success We will know we are successful when we see [this signal from the market]* Created by: Michele Ide-Smith | @micheleidesmith | Project name: How will you attract customers? Promotion Business or design problem What problem are you aiming to solve? Date created: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit * Thanks to Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden, authors of, for this template. Toolbox What methods will you use to get customer feedback? E.g. paper prototype, survey, wizard-of-oz, bodystorming What are the risks and how can you avoid them? Do you have backup plan? Risks
  31. Questions? Michele Ide-Smith User Experience Specialist Red Gate Software e: @micheleidesmith b: @micheleidesmith
  32. Thank you for listening More information: References: Designing With Context: Lean Startup: Nordstrum Innovation Lab video: The Next Evolution of Marketing: Lean UX Book: Affinity Map: Empathy Map:
  33. Image Credits Desert: Kevin.Cochran Software Developers working at Magenic in San Francisco: Wonderlane Quadrupedal ipad stand: Nordstrom building: Prayitno Test tubes: Paigggeyy