Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Agile UX Development?

Jeff Patton has an amazing post up about how to get started adding Agile to UX Development practices.  Please ignore some of the more obvious typos, especially in the opening line. :)

Here at EffectiveUI, we've been trying for a while to work out our process. We started off with something that was very similar to the waterfall and have since gotten more agile, but it's still pretty undefined.  As we move towards more definition, a lot of us developers are pushing for less process and more software.  We believe that the only real metric for measuring and testing sofware ideas is software itself, and at times it sounds like what we're advocating is scraping the design process altogether.

We're not, and perhaps we get a little too excited sometimes.  Jeff's post is a great way to realistically approach Agile-like development with UX design in mind, and I highly recommend it for anyone in a similar situation.

The only real disagreement I have with Jeff's post is the strong distinction he makes between designers and developers.  Maybe that's necessary and appropriate in other fields, but I don't feel it has to be with RIA's, and I'm not the only one - this idea is months old and already agreed upon in our community.  I hate the idea of developing two time boxes behind.  I want to be involved in the design and involved in the feature validation.  I'm a part of this process too you know - not just the code monkey who builds whatever you geniuses think up. :)  He does go on to encourage a lot of collaboration, but I want to do more than just collaborate - I want to help design!

Lastly, this is what I think of the silly made up jargon word "ideate":


Brent said...

I agree completely. At the last place I worked at in Atlanta, which was a creative agency, the Flash developers were considered part of the IT dept. We would have our daily meeting with the people that fixed the computers!

Over and over again because we were not a part of the creative development process we would receive assets weeks late and poorly prepared. We developers have a lot of experience with how things fit together visually. I would drive me nuts when something like a back or exit button would be missing from the interface.

Anyway, before I left I strongly advised that developers sit in the same room as the creatives, not in another building. Revolutionary I know. Of course lip service ensued and things continued on as before.


John Cook said...

I agree as well. I currently work for an advertising agency. (but for only 2 more days, yippee) I am constantly re-working designs, because most of the design staff are print designers and struggle with the concepts of the web. And, even though they have these struggles, I'm not including in any of the initial conception process. I just get to blow the development budget by having to re-working the design, before I can move into the development process.