In Agile Development | Agile UX | Requirements Definition | User Research. If you’re thinking that Agile development has almost completely taken over software development, you’d be correct. What are the problems? But Amanda Stockwell shows how, with a little flexibility, high-quality UX research in an Agile environment is possible. Prepare a handful of research activities using the optimal research methods to work well in a short time frame and can be taken advantage of at any point throughout the project. Consequently, it's great for teams working on ongoing UX research. Similarly, this is a time when initial discovery is taking place for the UX team, allowing design to simultaneously progress with, if not be slightly ahead of, the development team come Sprint 1. While his suggestions are spot on, when working in an Agile setting, there is no longer dedicated time to focus on research, and you can’t always spend time on the lengthier methods. I especially like Christian Rohrer’s summary (outlined in the table below), which lays out a 3-dimensional decision-making framework and provides notes about the position in the product development cycle. Great results can come from conducting a test in users’ own work environments or out in the wild (guerilla testing) — it may even elicit more honest and realistic feedback than an artificial setting. And it can make yours easier as well. Christian Rohrer’s summary ofa 3-dimensional decision-making framework. In an agile world, there’s no wrong time for conducting UX research. UX Mastery is an approved Educational Partner of the Interaction Design Foundation, the world’s largest UX Design learning community. The agile project management approach is responsive, iterative, and ideal for fast-moving projects. Damon Dimmick Director of Product Design and UX at Constant Contact; A case study of Constant Contact's Agile UX process. (This article is a sequel to Here is How UX Design Integrates with Agile and Scrum published in October 2018. Indi Young Co-founder of Adaptive Path; Open Q&A session. Researchers can learn more about the mental model of a user, or how they think the program works, which can help them improve the user experience design. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Fortunately, using a UX Integration Matrix helps integrate UX and agile by including UX information and requirements right in the product backlog. This article is a part of our comprehensive UI/UX design guide where we previously discussed Classic and Lean UX design processes along with the Design Sprint by Google Ventures. Recruit participants upfront to save time and execute research activities quickly. Let’s start with the hypothesis that the new design will “perform better;” you could easily break that into several hypotheses, each centered around specific features or user groups. While there are many benefits to Agile, it’s meant that those of us in the user experience field have had to examine and adapt our practices to stay in tune. Integrating user experience (UX) design into agile working is a challenge faced by many agile teams, not just those using DSDM. It is still the moderators job to adjust any leading or derailing questions that come in from the team. There are well-documented cons to not being able to be face-to-face with a user, but if your choices are to skip interviews or do them with video-conferencing, definitely choose the latter. These subprojects are completed respectively, during which the product is always available. Amanda Stockwell is President of Stockwell Strategy, a UX research practice focused on lean research methods and integrating user knowledge with business goals to create holistic product strategies for businesses large and small. One trick that I find endlessly useful is to go ahead and proactively schedule regular research sessions with users, especially if you can build up a panel of willing participants. In Agile, all design phases are happening concurrently, iteratively, and quickly. For instance, you might write one hypothesis that goes something like, “If we implement drag and drop formatting, our non-technical users will find it 30% easier to lay out their blogs” and a follow up that goes something like, “If we provide image editing, users will value our service more and include at least 10% more imagery in their blogs.” You’d then work to prototype and test the first element, drag and drop, before you start working on the image editing. 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