BUILDING AGILE UX
Some thoughts on building a UX design
team in an Agile PD group
Ria Sheppard,
User Experience Manager, e...
2
HOW DO YOU HIRE
THE TEAM?
3
BUT YOU’RE…A DESIGNER
4
YOU CHEEKY WEE TEASE
5
EXPLAIN YOUR PROCESS
6
WHAT DID YOU DO, RAY?
7
WHAT HELPS YOU
THRIVE IN AN AGILE
TEAM?
8
COMMUNICATION IS EVERYTHING
9
BUILD RAPPORT
10
ASSUMPTION HUNTER
11
THINKING, HIGH AND LOW
12
LEAPS OF FAITH
13
“OH GOOD, MORE CHANGE”
PRESENTATION TITLE GOES HERE 14
LOVE IT, THEN KILL IT
15
HOW DO WE
MAKE IT WORK?
16
WORKING TOGETHER
17
EXPLORE TOGETHER
18
FITTING INTO AGILE
19
MIX IT UP
20
DESIGN SUPPORT
21
KEEP ON SWIMMING!
22
THANKS!
ANY QUESTIONS?
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Building Agile UX

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Ria will talk about how to build a UX team in a passionately agile product development environment, across locations, with tips on finding the right candidates (hiring), creating the right environment (team establishment), embedding UX designers into the scrum teams (ways of working with agile) and building design thinking in the organisation (involving the business and the devs, workshopping etc).

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  • EPD:teamof about 60, 5 scrum teams, agile PD. Richmond, Berlin and Zurich Me: UX Mgr for ebayeurope, in a Brought in to create a design team which put a designer with each team running agile.Today I will talk about 3 things: --hiring UX designers into an agile team, --what I think UX designers need to be like to succeed in an agile environment--how the design team works as part of the agile framework in ebay Europe.
  • Yes, everyone who hires says it…hiring is hard. BUT, It turns out, finding good UX people is REALLY HARD! Here are some things that REALLY DON’T HELP. Make them easier will make hiring you easier.poor CVs, butchered by recruiters (WHY? WHYYY!). Portfolios acting like ‘tasters’ rather than giving information (I have been guilty of this!). No clarity around who did what. Not able to describe process of your design approach. **red flag…you should be able to describe ANYTHING and make yourself clear** Focus in page rather than across journey.
  • Design matters. Information design matters! Out of 20 CVs I might have 1 that is beautiful, 4 that are orderly and sensible, and the rest are MS Word.2) Recruiters! STOPPIT! You are making my eyes bleed. MAKE YOUR CV BEAUTFUL IF YOU THINK YOU ARE APPLYING FOR A DESIGN ROLE.
  • What portfolios tend to do (on a good day):Look shiny and accomplished. Sometimes they are beautiful, glossy, HTML5 love fests, and that is a pleasure to see.Show the finished product, anonymous, unremarked upon.But to show at least one in depth case study really helps understand how you think and what role you play. No matter what the project, to delve into what you contributed, how you made your decisions, who you worked with, what you would do differently – gold!
  • It’s like in maths at school ‘ show your workings!’ There is no better way to understand if someone is going to be good to work with.If I can’t understand what you did or how you did it, it’s a no hire.
  • Me, I, mine. Awkward, uncomfy, unBritish. For women, perceived as being a bit bossy and smug. But finding a clear way to convey YOUR contribution is critical. Otherwise I have to winkle it out of you and that takes time and energy better spent elsewhere.
  • Those were the basics. What stuff do we need specific to an agile dev team? (could argue they’re good skills generally)Communication expert – WHY are we doing this, WHY should we careGreat at building rapport across devs, stakeholders etc. NOT THE SAME AS BEING NICE! But having empathy helps. And that’s one of our special powers!Storyteller – key part of agile anyway (As ‘Jen, I want a quick way to find recipes using mackerel’) but this is the glue that holds the stories together in contextClarifier – part of great comms: here are all the things I am hearing, are we all hearing them? Here are the things we are ASSUMING – is that right?Ready to jump without KNOWING – terrifying (talk about the mental switch here from KINDA agile to hardcore agile)High tolerance for ambiguity (things change ALL THE TIME) – documentation, completion, surety, are hard to come by!
  • Communication expert – WHY are we doing this, WHY should we careStoryteller – key part of agile anyway (As ‘Jen, I want a quick way to find recipes using mackerel’) but this is the glue that holds the stories together in context
  • Build TRUST – for us, we are working with business stakeholders with no experience of agile. We need to build the relationship, reassure them, make our progress clear.Great at building rapport across devs, stakeholders etc. NOT THE SAME AS BEING NICE!But having empathy helps. And that’s one of our special powers!
  • FIND THEM, CHALLENGE THEM OR RAISE AWARENESS OF THEM – building on top of them is OK, as long as you flag itClarifier – part of great comms: here are all the things I am hearing, are we all hearing them? Here are the things we are ASSUMING – is that right?TECHNIQUE: FOGAirer of dirty laundry. Sayer of the unsayable!
  • WHY IS THE HIGH LEVEL IMPORTANT? - If you have a shared vision, you can try to head us all down the same pathDevelop the vision from the start BUT feed the team day to day ‘shovelling coal’
  • For a team like ours anyway – different teams may have different requirements. But in ebay Europe, in an agile env, this is important.Ready to jump without KNOWING – scary stuff (talk about the mental switch here from KINDA agile to hardcore agile)
  • Some people are happy in an environment where change is common. Not everyone is.High tolerance for ambiguity (things change ALL THE TIME) – documentation, completion, surety, are hard to come by!
  • Sometimes things change around you and your designs are not really affected. Sometimes you need to change things A LOT – be ready to do it.Be invested, follow your insights to evidence based designs…but be ready to kill it before anyone else doesPart f being flexible and staying curious – don’t get wedded to your solutions.
  • Collaboration, not a service – UX as partnership with PO and DevIn other companies the dynamic is different. In other parts of ebay, it is different. But in our team, in an agile set up, PM and UX are shoulder to shoulder.Sometimes there is quite a lot of skill overlap.
  • For a team like ours anyway – different teams may have different requirements. But in ebay Europe, in an agile env, this is important.Pairing with developersYesterday, good example. From a Balsamiq wireframe, the guys build something roughly. Then we discuss how it will work between mobile and desktop, and we arrive at a couple of options which the engineer can prototype quickly. We have short bursts of design activity with a couple of developers, examining how we might approach part of our idea, possible pitfalls, complexities.
  • For a team like ours anyway – different teams may have different requirements. But in ebay Europe, in an agile env, this is important.INTERESTING BALANCING ACT: Being deeply involved in the team VS pulling back and looking overall.Standups – every day (mostly)Writing the backlog – generating stories and writing acceptance criteria (requirements), driven by the UX you are designingGrooming the backlog – having discussions about what DONE looks likePairing – build as we goSigning off stories – is it what we agreed? Does it match the UX Acs?NOT signing off stories – if it’s not right, holding off. OR raising UX debtRetrospectives – common moments to refelct on how things are goingAll the teamworking fun with less of the technical stuff!
  • In my last role, we were agile, but I defined the UX, a designer created visual designs, and we expected the developers to create the front end experience to the pixel. In this role, the collaborative element means that we focus on conversations, just trying stuff, being flexible. My colleague David shares his front end expertise with the developers, and they play about with different options. NOT ALWAYS APROPRIATE! There comes a time where precision is required! But being open to MIXING IT UP a bit is a nice attribute in an agile team.HOW MUCH DOES PERFECTION MATTER? Something about the context of working
  • As part of a scrum team, you are up to your armpits in the project. Having the backup of the design team really helps to keep perspective, keep learning, keep smiling!We have regular design reviews, co-design sessions, meetups to do design projects outwith normal day to day.CALL FOR BACKUP! Sometimes you need your fellows to back you up OR talk you back from a bad decision.
  • Perseverance – some projects still turn up half-decided. Need to keep pushing to get further upstream in the process. Volunteering to run workshops etc can help with that – which leads me nicely onto my next session, about running workshops!
  • Any questions?
  • Building Agile UX

    1. 1. BUILDING AGILE UX Some thoughts on building a UX design team in an Agile PD group Ria Sheppard, User Experience Manager, eBay European Product Dev @persuadesign
    2. 2. 2 HOW DO YOU HIRE THE TEAM?
    3. 3. 3 BUT YOU’RE…A DESIGNER
    4. 4. 4 YOU CHEEKY WEE TEASE
    5. 5. 5 EXPLAIN YOUR PROCESS
    6. 6. 6 WHAT DID YOU DO, RAY?
    7. 7. 7 WHAT HELPS YOU THRIVE IN AN AGILE TEAM?
    8. 8. 8 COMMUNICATION IS EVERYTHING
    9. 9. 9 BUILD RAPPORT
    10. 10. 10 ASSUMPTION HUNTER
    11. 11. 11 THINKING, HIGH AND LOW
    12. 12. 12 LEAPS OF FAITH
    13. 13. 13 “OH GOOD, MORE CHANGE”
    14. 14. PRESENTATION TITLE GOES HERE 14 LOVE IT, THEN KILL IT
    15. 15. 15 HOW DO WE MAKE IT WORK?
    16. 16. 16 WORKING TOGETHER
    17. 17. 17 EXPLORE TOGETHER
    18. 18. 18 FITTING INTO AGILE
    19. 19. 19 MIX IT UP
    20. 20. 20 DESIGN SUPPORT
    21. 21. 21 KEEP ON SWIMMING!
    22. 22. 22 THANKS! ANY QUESTIONS?

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