We’re Doing What, When? Incorporating UX Design Into Agile

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We’re Doing What, When? Incorporating UX Design Into Agile Su-Laine Yeo Brodsky UX Designer

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2000: Usability specialist 2005: Interaction designer 2015: User experience designer UX/UI designer

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Participate, please!

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User-centered design Why have one and only one application be accessible from the Lock screen?

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“Agile's biggest threat to system quality stems from the fact that it's a method proposed by programmers and mainly addresses the implementation side of system development.” –Jakob Nielsen Nielsen Norman Group

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CHALLENGE #1 WHEN TO DESIGN? Background image: Dereckson CC-BY-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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Some Terminology • Iteration: An idea that the designer captures in a drawing or using a prototyping tool. Created quickly, e.g. in an hour. • UI specification: A document or annotated prototype that indicates how the product should look or behave. Not evil.

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The “textbook” approach • The entire team works on the same set of user stories at the same time • There is little or no upfront design time before development sprints begin

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Time for research and design is compressed

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“When the UX wasn’t worked out ahead of time, you’d see arguments in the middle of the sprint with accusations from the developers that the scope was being expanded because their idea of how the feature was going to work when they estimated it in sprint planning was different than the designer’s.” –Kristen Johansen Senior Manager, User Experience Citrix

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Alternative: Parallel track for design work Sprint Zero: Rough Design Up-Front Staggered Sprints: Designer Works 1-2 Iterations Ahead

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Design walkthrough #1 Week 1 #2 Week 2 Week 3 #3 Conversations throughout the process Design ready to implement

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1 Design walkthrough #1 #2 Week 2 Week 3 Conversations throughout the process #3 Week 1 Design ready to implement

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“What is the poster child of software and product design success today?… NOT done in Agile. Could never have succeeded as Agile… We need THOUGHT and Vision and Innovation. NOT Expediency.” –Dave Malouf

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One user story for design → Multiple user stories for implementation

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Design for multiple iterations

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Consider organizing sprints by fidelity Early sprints = lower fidelity Later sprints = higher fidelity

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How to survive low-fidelity design Development • • • Design code to be refactored Separate language strings Use low-fidelity placeholders for artwork QA Documentation • Automate testing • • Focus early testing on business logic, scalability, performance - not superficial UI Focus early on planning, outlining, and indexing • Omit unnecessary detail • Minimize repetition • Use screenshots sparingly

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Consider a mid-project sprint to clarify design vision

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Develop a style guide

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You love seeing this (in a user test) (before the sprint is complete)

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Line up users in advance. Start before you feel ready.

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“Three users every Thursday” Sit down with one user at a time for 30 - 60 minutes Usability test & ask research questions Test whatever is ready each week

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Online usability testing services (pretty good) usertesting.com fivesecondtest.com

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Hallway testing (cheap, better than nothing) Image: rekre89 CC BY 2.0

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Design walkthrough #1 Design ready to implement Sprint n Best time for usability testing Code complete and tested Sprint n +1 Second-best time for usability testing

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What makes sense to change? • Issues from user feedback • Consistency issues • Spec housekeeping: typos, etc. • Under-specified edge cases • Text strings • Logic for disabling controls • Progress feedback • Defaults • Feasibility problems CC BY 2.0, Kurtis Garbutt

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How should we decide what to change? • • CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Joel Kiraly Who should make the call on whether to accept a proposed design change? How do you choose between change requests and bug fixes?

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Communicating Change is Hard What are we building? What has recently changed?

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A managed change scenario 1. Initial design process 2. Change request is made 3. Change Control Board reviews the change 4. Designer communicates the change CC BY-ND 2.0, Daniele Vico

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Step 2: Change request is made 1. Person requesting the change brings it up with the designer. 2. Proposer and designer pre-screen the request.  3. Designer describes the change outside of the official spec and sends it in an email or ticket to the Change Control Board “Nobody is using the Snooze feature because the snooze option is off by default”

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Highlighting Changes Highlight changes with red

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Step 3: Change is reviewed Where: • Silence-impliesconsent • Email/Defect Tracking System • Meeting What: • Who requested the change, and rationale • Focus on future risk/benefit Who: • Product owner, not designer, should make Go/ No Go call

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Step 4: Communicating changes 1. Log: Project manager can keep a log of change requests 2. Highlight: Designer updates and highlights the official spec 3. Archive: Designer updates the spec version number and archives the previous version 

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Ideas to challenge • • • That working software is the only measure of progress That everyone on the team must work on the same set of user stories at the same time That only customers, not users, matter (or that customers and users are always the same) Ideas designers love • Frequent customer feedback • Retrospectives & continuous learning • Stuff getting built

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Thank you! Further Reading: • Agile Development that Incorporates User Experience Best Practices by Chris Nodder and Jakob Nielsen, www.nngroup.com • Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden • Software Project Survival Guide by Steve McConnell www.construx.com Presenter: Su-Laine Yeo Brodsky www.sulainebrodsky.com @sulaineyeo

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