August 29th, 2011
From a user experience perspective, it’s clear what you need to do in a waterfall process. You need to gather any research that will affect the requirements, before the requirements are done. You need to test your designs before the designs are signed off. You need to evaluate the functionality as it’s being built. And so on. Every step has clear contributions and expectations.
In Agile, these contributions and expectations aren’t nearly as clear. Waterfall gave us nice “hooks” to hang our UX work on, but Agile doesn’t do that. The team breaks up work into small chunks and just starts chipping away at it. There’s no clear point when requirements are done (they are gathered in parallel with trying out the designs). There’s no clear point when design is done (it evolves over the duration versus being declared up front). It doesn’t seem that there are any clear hooks in an Agile process.
Interestingly, if you dig deeper, the hooks are there. In this issue of UIEtips, we’re revisiting the conclusion to Jeff Patton’s two-part article on his best practices for integrating user experience work into an Agile development environment. He talks about how teams he’s worked with have found the hooks and made it work.
Read the article 12 Best Practices for UX in an Agile Environment – Part 2.
Jeff is also presenting our next virtual seminar Story Mapping for UX Practitioners: Tying Agile & UX Together. If you work in an Agile environment and you’re struggling to weave UX thinking and principles into the iterative process, you’ll definitely want to attend this seminar. This seminar is on pace to sell out, so save your spot today.Tweet