1004RE: [agile-usability] Re: Craftmanship doesn't scale... hence usa bility?
- Jan 27, 2005I reviewed a workshop proposal for XP Agile 2004 (I forget who it was from)
which was describing a process whereby at the end of each iteration, the
whole team "celebrates" by spending half a day playing around with the
system and eating their own dog food. That struck me as a really good way to
put developpers in the shoes of users so that they can take better design
decisions. Something like this might just turn developpers into craftmans.
Unfortunately, the proposal for the workshop was turned down (I gave it
thumbs up myself). I would have liked to attend it.
Alain Désilets, MASc
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Institut de technologie de l'information du CNRC /
NRC Institute for Information Technology
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From: Jeff Patton [mailto:jpatton@...]
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2005 10:47 AM
Subject: [agile-usability] Re: Craftmanship doesn't scale... hence
--- In email@example.com, "jeff_grover"
> business problems. Since then, I've experienced varying degrees ofcompares
> "agility/formality" and "usability/lack thereof"... but none
> to interacting daily and one-on-one with the people for whom you areI read the article ref you attached /finally/ and like it alot.
> building the software.
Thinking about it, I think a problem with software design is in fact
the /absence/ of craftsmanship.
If I imagine the way a craftsman designs something I'd imagine him
working closely with the person using the thing, asking them lots of
questions about what they do, building versions of the thing, and
watching them use it. I suspect lots of craftsman actually use the
things they build. [Those west coast chopper guys love to ride
motorcycles - but I know few software developers who love to play
with medical billing systems.] Craftsmen have intimate knowledge of
the people who will use their product.
That's what UCD and usability people strive for. The absence of that
intimate knowlede of who's using your product, why and how is, in my
mind, the craftsmanship that's absent today in much of the software I
I believe craftsmanship does scale - if we try. I believe many
organizations and individual developers have given up trying. It
frustrates me to hear developers ask "what are the requirements?"
instead of "what's the person using this software hope to
accomplish?" The first question is one asked by someone who doesn't
care to know their user. The second question is the one a craftsman
Thanks for posting Jeff!
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