These are my slides from the full-day workshop I recently conducted at the etre get together 2011 in London. It’s a great sneak-peek into topics I’ll be touching on in my book. Enjoy!
I recently posted the first of a two-part series on the UX of User Stories at andersramsay.com. User Stories are a natural entry point for a UX designer into the Agile universe. The journey that a User Story travels in its lifecycle from conception to release has numerous points of overlap with the work of a UX designer. Furthermore, the thinking behind how stories work is highly revealing of Agile thinking in general, so becoming adept at using them in your practice will be well worth the effort.
In this blog post, I mix a discussion of the nuts and bolts of how User Stories work with ideas for how UX methods and ideas can make them even more powerful. The blog post is also a great preview of topics I’ll be covering relating to User Stories in my forthcoming book.
I recently posted an entry on my blog summarizing the findings from a survey on the State of Agile UX. This survey shines a light on what is and is not working among the ever-increasing numbers who are integrating Agile and UX methods.
I’ve included lots of quotes from respondents, who shared numerous insights on the reasons for their successes or failures.
For me, the reason why I am writing a book on Agile Experience Design is, at the surface layer, quite simple: Agile is a powerful and efficient way of delivering quality software. For this reason, an increasing number of developers are abandoning traditional methods and instead adopting their Agile counterparts. Many of them are doing so with the guidance of many of the numerous great books on Agile software developement. And yet, if you do a search on Amazon for ‘Agile,’ you are likely to find approximately zero books written by or from the perspective of user experience design. Clearly, there is a need for a book written from the non-developer perspective.
But at a deeper layer, the reasons are more complex. For one, the idea of merging Agile and user experience is not a process of simple addition; a traditional user experience practitioner would find it challenging indeed to integrate their current way of working into an Agile team, for the simple reason that Agile is a completely different paradigm compared to its waterfall cousin. Like the horse and buggy compared to the automobile, both are means for getting from point A to point B, but the way these paradigms accomplish that goal is fundamentally different.
In other words, applying and integrating the work of designing elegant and eloquent user experiences in an Agile team requires a transformation of our practice, in which the core principles of good design remain, but how they are manifested may shift radically. For example, how we think about and create and deliver documuments, a core aspect of our practice, is likely to be one of the more visible manifestations of this shift.
Another equally important reason why I am writing this book is to strip away some of the myths and misconceptions about Agile, such as the idea that its all about Sprints and Scrums and Burndowns. Those are all valuable and important practices, but Agile is much larger than any one of them. In fact, perhaps the most important goal of this book is to convey the deeper thinking, the Agile Mindset, on which those practices are founded. Armed with that Mindset, my hope is that many in the user experience field will find ways to not just join Agile teams, but to also transform and empower traditional teams from within.