Monthly Archives: November 2008

Agile and User Experience

The company I work for has an evolving agile implementation methodology, specifically Scrum. Over the last two months, the User Experience team has been becoming more of an integrated part of this process. It’s been quite an interesting ride and it is far from over.

I’m actually a process person. I enjoy figuring out how to tackle problems and I recognize that the same process rarely works for two different situations. However, I never quite realized how much of a safety net the waterfall process was. While no project uses the ‘ideal’ process, the many possible steps and variations form a comfortable foundation that is the basis for improvisation. There are different activities and deliverables that answer different questions and needs and these form the toolkit that I have drawn on over the past decade.

Agile is very different. While project needs and user needs haven’t changed, how you can approach the problem from within an agile context is very different. Thankfully, there are some smart people who have paved the way, but there are few clear answers. UE wasn’t at the origin of agile and we are a little late to the game.

I certainly won’t say that anything we are doing is definitive, but I will share some of our struggles and what I’ve taken away from it.

Are you ‘agile’? What works and what doesn’t?