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Re: Role of UCD in agile processes

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  • Jeff Patton
    ... were working ... interfaced with a ... XP ... comfortable with ... said he ... asked what ... happy but I ... trust ... paint it ... attitude-but ... that
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 1, 2005
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      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Hugh Beyer" <beyer@i...>
      wrote:
      > My favorite story about this... on a project some years ago, we
      were working
      > with a customer/UI design/user experience design team that
      interfaced with a
      > development team in a very XP-ish kind of way, though it was not an
      XP
      > project. After some time-enough time for everyone to get
      comfortable with
      > the new roles-one of the developers on the user team came to us and
      said he
      > was planning to go back to development. We were all worried and
      asked what
      > was wrong and why he wasn't happy. His response was, "I'm very
      happy but I
      > like developing. Now that I've seen what you're doing I know I can
      trust
      > your process. So if you come and tell me to paint it purple, I'll
      paint it
      > purple because I'll know you have a good reason for it."
      >
      > Moral being that the whole team may become user-centered in
      attitude-but
      > part of that is knowing when to listen to the parts of the team
      that are
      > more in contact with the user than you are. This is being
      duplicated in
      > teams we're working with now-the developers are getting to the
      point where
      > they prefer to come to our folks rather than make off-the-cuff
      design
      > decisions because they know we've got the closer user contact.
      Which-to
      > bring the conversation back to XP-is as it should be.
      >

      I've seen that play out as well - sort of. By injecting teams with
      user profiles and task models - UCD artifacts and thinking, and
      publicly using those to make design decisions developers [and
      analysts and users] learn that design decisions aren't really made
      off the cuff. They're informed decisions. I observe two resulting
      behaviors: as you describe, developers and others trust the design
      process more and seek out designers for specific advice; or,
      alternatively, developers and others use the models to start making
      some informed decisions on their own.

      I've always been pushing for developers and others to gain that
      understanding so they can make day to day decisions on their own -
      and indeed some do. But more of them choose to defer to designers.
      Possibly my hopes at everyone becoming a designer to some degree are
      unrealistic.

      Have you observed others learning UCD thinking and successfully
      making decisions on their own? Has this helped or hindered things?

      thanks,

      -Jeff
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