Putting a square in a circle?
“Agile and user experience have been partnered successfully since the Agile Manifesto was first authored in 2001 and have had a history of working well together in many situations. However, user experience research (UXR) has been largely unaccounted for in this work. The Agile Manifesto encourages us to revisit our processes and to iterate on ways to better describe how we work together with our teams. That is the goal of this article: to share our progress toward improving how we work by documenting an iteration of a model for you to try.”
Carol J. Smith a.k.a. @carologic, Thyra Rauch, and Hannah Moyers a.k.a. @h_moyers ~ UXPA magazine ★
Design remains team work. Even in guilds, tribes, and other social labels.
“In our busy Agile development environment, our UX team was under-resourced and frequently a bottleneck. We had won the fight for buy-in: People wanted us, but there were not enough of us to go around. So, we were seen as more of an “injustice league” than the band of heroes we wanted to be. Facing the challenge head-on, we successfully leveraged the guild model to scale UX within our mid-sized development organization. We deputized UI developers and QA resources to lighten our design load and to spread good design throughout the land.”
Jennifer Bullard @jbullard and Carol Bergantino @cbergantino20 ~ UXPA magazine ★
Agile eats research, design and evaluation for (fast food) breakfast.
“In this paper we ask: “How might we take the ideas, the methods and the underlying philosophy behind agile software development and explore applying them in the context of doing research — even research that does not involve software development?” We look at some examples of agile research methods and think about how they might inspire the design of even better methods. We also try to address some potential criticisms of an approach that aims to minimize a need for Big Design Up Front by developing tighter iteration cycles, coupled with reflection and learning as part of a process for doing research.”
Michael Twidale and Preben Hansen ~ FirstMonday 24.1 ★
Many compelling insights into the turbulent world of enterprise work, focus and culture.
“(…) a new class of digital leadership is emerging to deliver the next era of transformation. The progressive C-level digital leader can navigate both IT architectures and end-to-end digital ecosystems. She co-creates compelling customer-centred visions, drives evolving strategies and plans, unlocks investments, delivers change at scale, and continuously improves operating effectiveness. Above all else, she keeps her focus squarely on the customer.”
Inês Almeida a.k.a. /inesalmeida | @Portuguesinha ~ APD Group ★ courtesy of @rvdhr
Fitting a square into a circle can be a real challenge.
“The Agile approach can be tough for designers — if misinterpreted it creates the expectation that a solo designer assigned to a scrum team will constantly and magically generate just-in-time designs. That a great cohesive overall product experience will be envisioned and unfolded piece by tiny piece across multiple scrum teams. On the other hand, if strategically focused on both discovery and delivery, Agile represents a great opportunity to center product development around frequent user feedback, and to constantly iterate by treating every release as a prototype that demands learning and improvement.”
Scott Mackie a.k.a. /srmackie ~ Medium ★
Pace layers in sync: research and sprints. I hope it will actually work.
“The key idea is to ensure that every action taken during the Agile process is aligned with the sprint objective and with solving a specific problem for the user. UX research is also there to continually evaluate and assess whether the outcome that the team has produced is successful. By implementing this strategy, you’ll have UX research embedded from the beginning to the end of the Agile process and empower your team to solve user problems with more alignment and feedback on their work’s impact.”
LaiYee Ho a.k.a. @laiyeelori ~ UXPA Magazine ★
We never thought that, didn’t we?
“As Agile has become the standard working model for development teams, UXers are, oftentimes grudgingly, learning to integrate into existing Agile development teams. But few are exploring how a UX team can use Agile techniques, and perhaps more importantly an Agile mindset, to improve team performance and morale. It turns out that when done right, Agile can help UXers achieve personal and strategic goals, giving value and purpose to the problems UX teams face daily. Sound too good to be true? If so, read on to learn how this cross-functional UX and architecture team used an Agile approach to improve our product, team performance, team member engagement, job satisfaction, and influence.”
Becky Bristol a.k.a. @paintingblue and Nicole Derr a.k.a. @Nicole_Derr ~ User Experience Magazine ★
All phases of the design cycle transform into lean. Oh dear.
“The Agile approach to product development focuses on continually and quickly releasing, learning about, and improving a product to enable sustained movement forward. By focusing on incremental improvements rather than a finished product, product teams can learn and pivot as needed to maintain their competitive edge. Most product teams use, or are moving toward, some form of an Agile methodology to rapidly and incrementally evolve their product or service. The good news is that user experience research and design can fit into the Agile process quite effectively.”
Michelle R. Peterson, Anna Rowe, Valle Hansen, and Carmen Broomes ~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association ★
The same or different?
“Agile and UX Design are not just ways of creating software, but also, cultural mores—the customs and conventions of work life. And, as these methods converge and mature together, they are establishing new ways of working.”
Jonathan Follett a.k.a. /jonfollett | @jonfollett ~ O’Reilly Radar ★
Or how a software engineering approach dictates the design process.
“As the trend of software development bends inevitably toward continuous improvement, continuous learning, and agility, so too must design practice bend and change to be most effective for the digital world. The process models UX inherited from its precursors – graphic design, industrial design, and architecture – are front-loaded and heavy, meant for outputs that are physical products and objects. But these process models collapse when it is no longer possible to figure out everything in advance, as is the case with creating complex software applications. Lean UX is a call to work iteratively, to streamline design and eliminate waste, to collaborate on cross-functional teams and, most importantly, to maintain a customer-centric perspective in our decision-making.”
Jonathan Follett a.k.a. /jonfollett | @jonfollett ~ O’Reilly Radar ★
Agile-this and Agile-that.
“How usability testing makes its way in can depend on the product owner’s approach or the organization’s UX maturity. When it works well, there is a common pragmatism that helps makes the tortured relationship more like a healthy marriage. The differences between Agile and UX are not irreconcilable; as with many things, attitude seems to be the key in making it work. There are plenty of good guides out there on how to get user testing done in an Agile environment.”
Luke Smith ~ HandrailUX ★
No more documentation!
“Many say that UX design processes do not fit well into the agile methodology. As a UX designer who has experience working on both waterfall and agile projects—and many variants in between—I object to this assertion. The Agile Manifesto outlines twelve principles that guide the agile methodology. One by one, I’ll explain how each of these principles not only fails to conflict with good UX design practice, but can even improve it.”
Andrew Croce /andrewcroce @andrewcroce ~ UXmatters ★
Design as a team sport. Getting rid of the genius designer myth.
“Hire for the right roles. Some people believe that founders are the only ones who can create company culture. It’s true that founders are usually responsible for creating the original values. Consider how Larry Page and Sergey Brin from Google defined the way they wanted their first dozen employees to feel at work. In fact many of the best-loved parts of the culture started before Google had 50 employees. But as a company grows, there are still opportunities for cultural recalibration. Here are seven roles of people who help define, harness, reflect, and embody culture at IDEO. Think of them as the new faces of organizational culture.”
Mollie West ~ AIGA ★
Sometimes there is fundamentally something wrong: Big Bang.
“(…) let’s peep into this article which first clears the concept of Lean UX, suggests the right UX strategy for businesses and then shares insights on the journey to build a successful user experience via Lean UX. In the end, the article also explains 11 important principles of Lean UX that will help readers to implement the concept in an effective way.”
(Sandeep Sharma a.k.a. @tissandeep ~ TIS India) ★