Monday, November 5, 2007
Full-day Seminar, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Larry Constantine

Interaction Design in an Agile World

Larry Constantine, Constantine & Lockwood

Is your design team struggling to build highly usable products in a world of shrinking delivery schedules? Do you find that the design team often ignores your recommendations after usability testing? Do you have problems incorporating field studies and usability testing into development processes that release a new product every few weeks?

The Agile development movement is catching on quickly within many organizations, and for good reason. Agile processes have many advantages over traditional application development including faster development lifecycles and improved product quality. However, Agile approaches pose many challenges for interaction designers, from compressing field studies into mere days--or hours--to translating the results into user stories for completion in one-week iterations.

For example:

  • A major financial institution that has recently adopted Agile approaches is struggling to introduce User Experience and Interaction Design 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 design team is already accustomed to their existing approach.

To deal with these challenges, Larry Constantine, author of the landmark book, Software for Use, has created a seminar that shares proven techniques for integrating interaction design practices into the Agile development process.

This seminar introduces an activity-centered framework for agile interaction design. Larry will show you streamlined modeling techniques for quickly capturing, organizing, and validating insights about users and their needs. By focusing on the users' activities, Larry will show you how to quickly understand the essence of user needs and derive innovative designs that better support those needs.

Larry will introduce a variety of techniques and tactics for practicing interaction design in the context of agile development. You will learn:

  • How to organize interaction design and usability processes to fit within the accelerated schedules and the short iterations of agile development methods.
  • How to use low-tech tools, including index cards, sticky notes, and simplified schematics to capture, organize, and prioritize information about user roles and tasks.
  • How to take advantage of techniques suited to short-cycle iterative design and development
  • How essential models will help your design team understand users and their activities.
  • How to use model-driven inquiry to speed field studies and more quickly define user needs.
  • How to use concepts from activity theory to map out a sound architecture before focusing on smaller regions for rapid iterative design and development.
  • How to employ alternative project models for integration of interaction design and usability testing, including needs-first development, architecture-first development, and design-first development.

You will come away from this seminar with a solid understanding of agile activity-centered design processes and new techniques that can be put into immediate practice in your work.

UI12 Seminar Recommendations: If you're interested in Larry's full-day seminar, you may also want to attend Kim Goodwin's seminar on The Essentials of Interaction Design or Kevin Cheng's on Communicating Product Concepts with Comics.