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4025Re: Leverage a small UX team?

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  • timkieschnick
    Feb 4, 2008
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      Thanks for the good advice. I'm clearly not going to get another
      dozen UX specialists, so I need to leverage my 4 specialists across
      the people in the dedicated teams. Here's what I'm thinking in terms
      of training priorities:

      First, Product Owners:
      - evangelize them on user experience
      - introduce them to the core toolset and the support available
      - think together about how to build UX into the product backlog and
      sprint exit criteria
      - work with them on an ongoing shared product backlog for things
      like creating and implementing design patterns or templates across
      the site

      Second, Business Analysts:
      - evangelize--give them something to live for to replace the
      requirements documents they've been lost in for the last 3 years
      - introduce them to the core toolset and the support available
      - give them the hands-on skills to do things like user-centered
      stories, effective use of personas, and card sorts

      Third, Everybody Else:
      At this point I'll have a skeleton of a support system in place, and
      two people on each team who can tangibly make use of general
      excitement about the user experience.
      - evangelize
      - UX and the product lifecylce
      - when to call for help

      Fourth, Scrummasters:
      - collaborative working session to come up with some shared best
      practices and places to innovate

      Having not done scrum yet myself, I'm probably front-loading too
      much. There will certainly be plenty of informal alignment &
      education going on, but how does this look for the formal training
      part?


      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Adrian Howard <adrianh@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > On 31 Jan 2008, at 09:45, Manish Pillewar wrote:
      > [snip]
      > > >> 3) We're thinking that the best times to bring in the UX
      > > specialists are
      > > >> (a) project inception, prior to forming the team, to help
      guide
      > > initial
      > > >> user research (ethnography, persona development, etc.) and
      (b)
      > > during
      > > >> release planning (or maybe between each sprint), to help
      the
      > > team ID
      > > >> what tools from the world of user-centered design will be
      most
      > > helpful
      > > >> for the coming work, and how the UX team can support that.
      > >
      > > This is perfect. You can also choose to involve the designers
      for
      > > POC activities or use their creativity to conceptulize UI
      solutions
      > > during sales pitches or/and do competitive benchmarking
      exercises
      > > as a showcase of Ux capabilities. QA is one more arena where
      the
      > > designer can help in. She can do design reviews or usability
      > > evaluations( heuristics,etc), even quick usability testing on
      the
      > > developed screens at every iteration end, to ensure that the UX
      > > standards are maintained.
      >
      > [snip]
      >
      > Not sure that I'd describe it as perfect :-)
      >
      > I find that you get a _lot_ more value by having UX folk involved
      > with the team as close to 100% as possible. While there is
      obviously
      > a lot "big" UX work that sits on the customer side, communicating
      it
      > is much better done in person than with documents. There are also
      > always UX issues that pop up during development. Having a UX
      person
      > on-hand makes sure that they'll be addressed in an appropriate
      manner.
      >
      > So my perfect set up has at least one UX person as a member of
      the
      > team 100% of the time.
      >
      > Which of course sucks as a solution if, like the OP, you only
      fewer
      > UX folk than development teams...
      >
      > Assuming that hiring a bunch more UX dudes isn't practical, I'd
      be
      > looking at spending a lot more time in general education of the
      whole
      > team in UX issues. That way there's more chance that UX issues
      that
      > pop up mid-iteration are handled well (even/especially when the
      > method is "get a UX dude here stat" :-)
      >
      > Cheers,
      >
      > Adrian
      >
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