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Anders Ramsay on avoiding agile-induced dysfunctions

12/19/2011

With our partners at UIE, we recently launched the Next Step Series of monthly virtual seminars starring Rosenfeld Media authors. First up is Anders Ramsay, who will present Designing With Agile on January 24 . How agile and design fit together is still up in the air, so we decided to get some input from Anders:

RM: What’s the biggest mistake people make when it comes to designing with Agile?

Anders Ramsay: UX designers’ biggest mistake is to think that methods like Scrum or XP are synonymous with Agile. Those methods were created by and for developers to solve developer problems. They were created with high-quality efficient software delivery in mind, not UX design. This is why many UX designers are stunned—utterly stunned!—to discover that adopting Scrum does not lead to eternal frolicking and bliss. In fact, adopting a method like Scrum or XP will, for a UX practitioner, only replace the waterfall dysfunctions of old with new dysfunctions, like being devoured by the backlog beast or being stuck with half-baked UX that has been deemed “Done.”

But the good news is that we can forge our own methods, intended to solve UX designer problems and challenges and looking at software from the UX perspective, out of the very same lean, light-weight thinking and values from which the Agile movement and brand was forged.