Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Full-day Seminar, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Jeff Patton

Bringing User-Centered Design Practices into Agile Development Projects

Jeff Patton, ThoughtWorks

Is your organization considering a migration to agile development processes? Is your design team struggling with development lifecycles that move at a snail's pace?

The Agile Development movement is catching on quickly within organizations -- for good reason. Agile processes have many advantages over traditional application development including faster development lifecycles, improved product quality, and the reduction of "feature creep." However, moving to an Agile Development environment presents its own unique challenges. For example:

  • A major financial institution that has recently adopted Agile approaches is struggling to introduce User Experience practices into the methodology. The User Experience Lead is stumped about the best way to incorporate UX practices into this new development environment.
  • A large information-rich online portal is slowly attempting to convert their dozens of product development teams to Agile approaches. But the development team is already accustomed to their existing approach. The development team needs a framework for balancing their existing user-centric approaches with Agile development approaches. 

While Agile approaches offer development teams many advantages, they offer little guidance on how to incorporate UX practices. To deal with this challenge, Jeff Patton has created a seminar that shares solid, proven techniques for integrating user-centered design practices into the development process. Since 2000, Jeff has been heavily involved in agile methods and is the premier expert on how to incorporate user-centered design practices into your agile projects.

During this full-day seminar, you’ll gather all of the essential details you need to work in a fast-paced Agile environment with great results. You will:

  1. Get an introduction to the Agile Development process. Using slides, visual models, and discussion, and Jeff will share a common model for understanding Agile Development.
  2. Understand how User Experience approaches can be incorporated into an Agile process. You will see how traditional UX techniques, such as usability testing and field research, can be scaled to fit comfortably and continuously in a fast paced Agile environment.
  3. Learn how team members can collaborate effectively in an Agile environment. You will be exposed to techniques for collaborating with your team members and getting continuous involvement from your users, including card-storming and user role and task modeling,
  4. See how design teams can go from initial concept to deployment in as little as three weeks. Jeff will discuss the importance of incremental releases and share the necessary components of a successful iterative development approach.
  5. See Agile Development practices in action. In an interactive exercise, you will be exposed to paper prototyping techniques, iteration planning, and usability testing techniques.
  6. Understand the role of a UX and usability professional in an Agile project. You will learn how to work with the development team to set project goals and plan incremental releases.
  7. Be exposed to Agile Development project success stories. Jeff will share examples of organizations that have successfully incorporated User Experience practices into their Agile process.

Interactive Classroom Exercise

During the course of the day, you will get the chance to work on a small development team to build models and prototypes in an Agile iterative development environment. You will practice collaborating with team members to understand your users, plan incremental releases, and usability test your prototypes. This hands-on exercise is guaranteed to give you a head-start collaborating with team members with Agile processes.

Who Should Attend

This seminar is appropriate for all members of a development team working with an organization considering the move to an Agile approach, including:

  • Developers new to Agile development approaches, or those currently practicing in Agile environments, seeking a broader understanding of Agile development and examples of best practices for incorporating user experience work.
  • Development managers, project managers, business analysts, and quality assurance analysts seeking an understanding of Agile approaches, and the user experience practitioners role in these approaches.
  • Interaction designers, visual designers, and usability practitioners will pick up some approaches making their techniques more collaborative.

If you need to work in a fast-paced Agile environment, this seminar is just for you.

UI11 Seminar Recommendations: If you're interested in Jeff's full-day seminar, you may also want to attend David (Heller) Malouf's seminar on RIAs and Ajax or Sarah Bloomer & Susan Wolfe's seminar on Building and Managing a Successful User Experience Team.