Re: [agile-usability] can agile customers support minimal commitment to UX design? was: Minimal commitment UX design
- On Saturday, October 1, 2005, at 10:28:23 AM, Joshua Seiden wrote:
> An answer is: yes. I've seen it done, quite frequently. Contrary toI didn't say or suggest that we should withhold information. I'm in
> pessimistic notions one might hold about "mere users", they're quite capable
> of understanding that there is more going on than the GUI, and they're quite
> capable of understanding the value of a rough interface that lets them see
> They're even quite capable of expressing requirements in forms that lead to
> acceptance tests.
> Some of them are almost as smart as we are ... just about different stuff.
> Josh replies:
> This is one of the ideas that user-centered design has investigated with
> some subtly. Contrary to Ron's implication, withholding incomplete work does
> not inherently infantilize users. Instead, it is simply a choice of
> communication tactic.
> As a group, "we software people" tend to be good at visualizing complex
> abstractions in our heads. Some "users" are better at this than others.
> Those who are good at this often play a bridging role with software
> teams--becoming super-users and/or agile customers. Those who are not can
> provide tons of valuable input, but require different types in communication
> artifacts to support that communication.
> As always, good communication is based (in part) on speaking a mutual
> language. So it is of some importance--both to the process and to the
> product--that we understand the language that our audience speaks. This
> includes the visual language in which we present our work.
favor of sharing all the information we have and I'm suggesting that
real users will not be confused by seeing rough interfaces, and will
not be confused by hearing there's more to the program than the
glass on the front of it.
Sometimes you just have to stop holding on with both hands, both
feet, and your tail, to get someplace better. Of course you might
plummet to the earth and die, but probably not:
You were made for this.
- On Oct 1, 2005, at 9:28 AM, Joshua Seiden wrote:
>See, that's the issue. I recently had a client who was converting an
>> 2) How could the system have been built such that the decision to
>> switch could have been made later - still with reasonable cost?
> Don't know. I'm not in the construction business ;-)
old, old system from one type of database to another. It was hell. But
it would wrong to conclude that's an unavoidable fact about systems
that use databases. It's just a consequence of the way they originally
decided to do it. We could go back in time and say to them, "What
you're about to do is a *bad* idea. Do this instead. It's only a
trivially different amount of work, it won't affect anything users see,
but you'll be happy you did if you ever switch databases."
So your data point isn't suggestive unless we could expose the design
to an expert and have that person say either what my database person
would have said or "I cannot see any way to build a system that would
support UX 1 and also easily be switched to UX 2."
If we're to understand what we have to get right up front and what can
be deferred, we need to look in some detail at both successes and
>> 3) How can the system be built such that *not* switching doesn'tSuppose there's a way of building a system such that it both supports
>> result in a lot of work with no payoff?
> I'm not sure I understand this question. Can you clarify what you're
UX 1 today and would make it easy to switch to UX 2 tomorrow. That way
makes the system 50% more expensive to build today. If the switch is
never made, that's a lot of money spent with no return. We need a way
where additional up-front cost is low.
Brian Marick, independent consultant
Mostly on agile methods with a testing slant
Book in progress: www.exampler.com/book