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RE: [agile-usability] incremental design -vs- overall user experience

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  • Larry Constantine
    Jeff, An effective way around this problem is to draft a navigation architecture (screen flow) in advance based on provisional understanding of user roles and
    Message 1 of 38 , Jul 14, 2004
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      Jeff,

      An effective way around this problem is to draft a navigation architecture
      (screen flow) in advance based on provisional understanding of user roles
      and tasks in the application. This architecture gives a reasonably well
      thought out framework on which to hang the features and functions as they
      arise "organically." The navigation architecture is itself reviewed and
      refactored as needed as the details of the application emerge. This approach
      is what I describe as "architecture-first development" in the new Cutter
      Report on agility and usability. It's proven to be a good compromise that
      yields maximal payoff in maintaining a sound UI organization with bare
      minimal upfront investment.

      --Larry Constantine
      Chief Scientist | Constantine & Lockwood, Ltd.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jeff Grigg [mailto:jeffgrigg@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, 13 July 2004 7:48 PM
      To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [agile-usability] incremental design -vs- overall user experience

      I can't claim to be an expert on user interface design or agile
      methods, but here's a thought that's been bothering me for a while:

      It's been my experience that systems that "grow organically" over
      time often have bad user interfaces. New features are often buried
      deep within the existing user interface structure, making it hard to
      find. New reports, for example, are added as buttons or menu
      options deep in the work flow, where they're first needed, but *not*
      made available from higher level menus.

      I've found that drawing screen flow diagrams of the overall system
      illustrates these problems and guides redesign of the GUI to make
      the system more usable.

      But...
      How can one avoid this problem in "organically growing" systems?

      Does the "overall user experience" need to be planned up-front, even
      when functionality is implemented incrementally?

      As project direction changes during implementation, what triggers
      you to recognize that the user interface flow needs to be redesigned
      to most effectively support the new business requirements you've
      discovered?






      Yahoo! Groups Links
    • katharina9267
      Larry, This is without a doubt an issue that I came across in my experience as a usability manager. Do you suggest that this work should be done in iteration 0
      Message 38 of 38 , May 30, 2007
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        Larry,

        This is without a doubt an issue that I came across in my experience
        as a usability manager.

        Do you suggest that this work should be done in iteration 0 using the
        agile methodology? This seems to be increasingly a recommendation in
        a number of white papers and publications such as Scott Ambler.
        However, when you say 'minimal effort' how does this translate into
        time scales - is there an average that you work with in your
        experience let's say 1-2 weeks?

        I also appreciate, if you could forward the pdfs on the collaborative
        UI review method that you mentioned in a previous message.
        Many thanks,
        Katharina

        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Constantine"
        <lconstantine@...> wrote:
        >
        > Jeff,
        >
        > An effective way around this problem is to draft a navigation
        architecture
        > (screen flow) in advance based on provisional understanding of user
        roles
        > and tasks in the application. This architecture gives a reasonably
        well
        > thought out framework on which to hang the features and functions
        as they
        > arise "organically." The navigation architecture is itself reviewed
        and
        > refactored as needed as the details of the application emerge. This
        approach
        > is what I describe as "architecture-first development" in the new
        Cutter
        > Report on agility and usability. It's proven to be a good
        compromise that
        > yields maximal payoff in maintaining a sound UI organization with
        bare
        > minimal upfront investment.
        >
        > --Larry Constantine
        > Chief Scientist | Constantine & Lockwood, Ltd.
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Jeff Grigg [mailto:jeffgrigg@...]
        > Sent: Tuesday, 13 July 2004 7:48 PM
        > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [agile-usability] incremental design -vs- overall user
        experience
        >
        > I can't claim to be an expert on user interface design or agile
        > methods, but here's a thought that's been bothering me for a while:
        >
        > It's been my experience that systems that "grow organically" over
        > time often have bad user interfaces. New features are often buried
        > deep within the existing user interface structure, making it hard
        to
        > find. New reports, for example, are added as buttons or menu
        > options deep in the work flow, where they're first needed, but
        *not*
        > made available from higher level menus.
        >
        > I've found that drawing screen flow diagrams of the overall system
        > illustrates these problems and guides redesign of the GUI to make
        > the system more usable.
        >
        > But...
        > How can one avoid this problem in "organically growing" systems?
        >
        > Does the "overall user experience" need to be planned up-front,
        even
        > when functionality is implemented incrementally?
        >
        > As project direction changes during implementation, what triggers
        > you to recognize that the user interface flow needs to be
        redesigned
        > to most effectively support the new business requirements you've
        > discovered?
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
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