Good Stuff on Agile and UXD

Best practices for user experience design and agile.  I don’t have the brainpower at the moment, or the experience and eloquence in general, to say it better than these guys.  So this week, I’m phoning it in, and deferring to these folks to say it far better than I can.

UXD and Agile

Twelve emerging best practices for adding UX work to Agile development, by Jeff Patton in 2008.  Incredibly comprehensive article here – both summarizing in breadth, and covering in depth.  If you’re interested in how user experience design (UXD) should work in an agile environment, this is the article you need to read.  If you’re really interested in UXD and agile – this is where you need to start!

Scrum and UX – a presentation by Morten Just from 2009.  Morten tells a great story about how many of the different disciplines within the “catchall” of UXD can fit in the world of projects being run in the Scrum framework.

My soundbite addition:

I feel like UXD is such a broad term that you can’t simply answer “how does UXD work in Scrum?” (a question I was asked today).  Some elements (outputs traditionally labeled as UXD) represent requirements (what should people be doing, what should some of the acceptance criteria be), and others represent design (how should things work / look / feel / exist, given a solution approach).

Every team will be organized differently, and parts of UXD that are “requirements” should be driven – in Scrum – by the product owner and UXD professional working together, expressing the need to enable the right stories with “good (big picture) design.”  The parts of UXD that are “design” should be handled inside the team, and the product owner (and doubly-so the stakeholders) should rely on their trust of the Scrum team to include “good UXD” as part of their design of solutions that enable stories.

As I mentioned in the pre-amble, Jeff and Morten do a much better job of articulating this point of view, so this article is 99% “go read their stuff” and 1% “my mental model that some of it should happen as part of expressing what needs to be done, and some of it should happen as expressing how it should be done.”

14 thoughts on “Good Stuff on Agile and UXD

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  13. How does work best for the UX designer to trust the team to design the application well? Design is a competency, like coding, and it’s best done by UX and visual designers who have the training and passion to do it.

    Sorry, don’t agree.

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