August 1st, 2008
When shooting the movie, the director doesn’t necessary film the scenes in the order they’ll appear once edited. Instead, the filmmakers shoot the pieces according to other constraints, such as the availability of actors or locations, or accommodating variability in the weather. It’s not unusual for the movie’s final climax to be among the first scenes shot.
It occurred to me, while talking with Jeff Patton last week, that the same can be true in an Agile development process. Often times, the team will start with a piece of the project that isn’t the first thing the user experiences, but instead might be at the end. For example, they may start by building the functionality to save a file in Photoshop format – technically an important, high-risk part of the project, but not much of a user interface beyond a simple “Save as PSD file” option.
Jeff mentioned that user experience designers on the Agile team end up adopting a similar role to the person who gets the credit of “Continuity” in a film. It becomes their job to make sure the final experience makes sense, even though the order of construction was not linear. This is a huge challenge and one that has come to forefront as more teams move to an Agile development method.
Jeff has been researching the new challenges that arise when teams try to merge their UX efforts in an Agile process. In his travels, he’s assembled a slew of best practices that result in the development of great experiences. In this week’s UIEtips, we’re proud to publish the first installment of a two-part article where Jeff describes 12 of his best practices.
Read Jeff’s article, 12 Best Practices for UX in an Agile Environment – Part 1.
If you’re a user experience professional working inside an Agile development team, you’ll want to check out Jeff’s full-day seminar on this topic. He’s updated it with his newest findings and it’s promising to be one of the most popular sessions at our upcoming User Interface 13 Conference in Cambridge, MA this October.
Are you working to improve the user experience in Agile development projects? What practices have you found to work (or to avoid)? Share your thoughts with us.Tweet