UIEtips: Essential UX Layers for Agile and Lean Design Teams

Jared Spool

November 22nd, 2011

The migration to agile and lean development methods has thrown a wrench into the world of user experience professionals. Now on unfamiliar ground, these professionals want to know what new techniques and tricks help integrate UX into the development process.

As we study what makes teams successful, we realize that the successful teams aren’t doing anything new or novel. Their success is solidly based on a fundamental that many of the struggling teams have forgotten: good design decisions come from informed members of the team.

A significant difference that’s come about in this new agile world is team integration. No longer is UX design owned by the UX designers: everyone on the team now has design responsibilities. That means that everyone needs to understand what the design is trying to do.

When we talked to the teams from the successful organizations, we found a common theme: they used a framework to make sure their teammates have all the information they need. We’ve codified this framework as UX Layers, which span from the big picture of a long-term vision all the way down to the details of individual user stories for developing the next sprint.

In today’s UIEtips, we look back at an article from May of this year. We explore the UX Layers, looking at how they each fit together. Whether you’re currently doing Agile development, planning to move there, or still working in a waterfall world, I think you’ll find this framework will help ensure you’ve got all the information you need to create great designs.

Read the article, Essential UX Layers for Agile and Lean Design Teams.

Want to know more about how Lean UX contributes to working faster, smarter, and happier? Explore our next UIE Virtual Seminar on Wednesday, December 7 with Jeff Gothelf, Lean UX: Getting Out of the Deliverables Business.

Has your team tried a similar framework for ensuring every team member is making informed decisions? Let us know your thoughts and questions below.

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