RE: [agile-usability] Re: Integrating user research into an agile process
--- In agile-usability@ yahoogroups. com, "shane3797" <s.lovellette@ ...>
> Hi All,
> It seems that agile development is putting a great deal of pressure on
> user research and usability testing. We have recently adopted scrum,
> and one of our greatest challenges is integrating usability testing
> into the process. Since we also create tools to help conduct usability
> testing, we are keen to understand how others are managing this
> process. How do you make usability testing and user research methods
> more agile?
I’m now nearing the end of my 2nd sprint with a scrum team. I’m an interaction designer, working with 5 engineers and 1 product owner. I had about 4 days to conduct pre-work before our 1st sprint started, and that first day included being introduced to the project to begin with. Not much time to get ahead.
What I did was more or less handed over design of the features we delivered in sprint 1 to the engineers. I created the expectation that while they were doing back end architecture and DB stuff (and some design) during sprint 1, I would be off conducting interviews, designing a prototype and finally conducting usability tests. The results of the usability tests and proposed changes to the prototype would be ready for the sprint 2 planning session.
It worked great. We’re now in the 2nd sprint, and my design is a few sprints ahead of the rest of the team at this point. The interviews from the first sprint were comprehensive enough to drive the entire design process for this portion of the project (estimated at 3-5 sprints), and we’ll continue to conduct usability tests as the design is built out further.
All that said – it’s important to note that I work on enterprise applications only. My entire customer base is right here and is extremely easy to access. That first sprint would have been much more challenging if the project was for external customers. Also, our user group for this project is small – 8 users total. We conducted 6 interviews and 5 usability tests during that 1st sprint.
User Interface Engineer