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6491Re: [agile-usability] Re: New To Usability - Trying To Learn & Define Standards

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  • William Pietri
    Oct 5, 2009
      Thanks for the details, David!

      Doug's comment made me wonder something in specific, so let me ask about that directly.

      If your developers are asking QA for advice on UI design, that's clearly a problem. But the people/interaction way I'd be inclined to solve that would be making sure there's a person with UI design skills in the room.

      Then if that wasn't enough, I'd find ways for the UI people to communicate more easily. If that still wasn't enough, I'd get them to collaborate around a style guide, a pattern library, or some other shared resource.

      Have you folks tried any of that?



      davidanthonyfreedman wrote:
      Hi William,
      I work here at CAA with Doug and run our Development group.  Just a little more context.  We are an agile shop through and through.  Our applications are a combination of internal LOB apps, communications apps, ERP apps, partner-facing (B to B) apps and a few extenally-facing websites.  We've got a relatively small internal staff (project management, dev/architecture, QA/UX and packaged apps) who are collaborate with our offshore partner in South America for delivery.  Both ourselved and our dev partner's processes are primarily Scrum-based.
      We've got a broad portfolio of apps with a lot of work in progress at any moment in time (some would argue that a better strategy would be to limit WIP per Kanban).  The importance of standards for us is not so much in the context of contranstraints, but in the as a baseline for continual improvement.  It's simply a means to socialize lessons learned.  Any team may innovate on those standards or depart where not applicable.  Also, inventing everytime is expensive and fallable so standards serve as a checklist.  
      We've got an aspiring UX team (which Doug leads) whose core competency is rooted in QA.  From my perspective, they've got fantasic UX instincts and some practical experience using common UX techniques (Paper prototying, etc) but want to grow their toolbelt of techniques understanding that and given tool is appropriate to a circumstance and that the team will use their judgement.  
      Long winded way of saying that we seek standards in support of people and interactions, not in place of.  Make sense?
      p.s.  I'm a long time board lurker and friends of a few on this board.  Thank you all for your contributions...I learn a lot here.
      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, William Pietri <william@...> wrote:
      Hi, Doug.
      Since you asked here, I'm presuming this question has some Agile angle. 
      The broadness of your question brings me back to the Agile manifesto, 
      and in particular the first value statement: "individuals and 
      interactions over processes and tools".
      The solution you're looking at seems to be more about a process and a 
      documentary tool. Have you already tried solutions based in individuals 
      and interactions?
      doug.gorman@... wrote:
      Good morning, everyone. My name's Doug Gorman and I'm the QA manager at Creative Artists Agency.
      My team is beginning to take on usability as part of what we test for in the applications we build for the business. We are frequently presented with questions like "should we use an icon or text link?" that we have no resources to draw on to make a decision.
      Ideally I would prefer to create some standards around the kinds of interface decisions we're normally presented with. Not to prevent people from making other decisions, but to provide a baseline from which to guide decisions.
      I have three questions about creating a baseline:
      1. What resources would you recommend to be helpful in establishing a UI baseline for our organization? 
      2. If you've created UI standards for a company before, what issues did you encounter with regards to acceptance and adherence?
      3. Would you recommend a standard - if not, why?
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