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RE: [agile-usability] Re: [XP] XP and Big Interaction Design UpFront

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  • William Pietri
    ... Interesting. My experience so far has been that if things like architecture and data model are built in an agile, incremental fashion and the most
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 1, 2004
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      On Wed, 2004-09-01 at 11:57, Dave Cronin wrote:
      > Most of the bad effects that we've seen from running research and the
      > initial design phase (what we call the "Interaction Framework")
      > alongside development have to do with premature technical decisions
      > about things like platform, architecture, and data model. While I
      > haven't worked with many true blue XP shops, my experience is that these
      > things are difficult and expensive to modify or "refactor".

      Interesting. My experience so far has been that if things like
      architecture and data model are built in an agile, incremental fashion
      and the most important things are built first, refactoring later is much
      cheaper than waiting for clarity. It takes a skilled team, though;
      novices may be unable to defer questions like, "Should we use a
      database?" My current team has managed to avoid answering that for eight
      months.

      I'm not quite sure what you mean by platform; that's a broad term. If a
      client is still unsure whether they want a web site or a custom wireless
      handheld device, I'd agree it's probably too early to start the
      front-end development. Or more generally, if it's too early in the
      project to pick even two of the developers you'd need, it's too early to
      start construction.

      On the other hand, although I've participated in a lot of half-baked
      product discussions, I've never seen one where somebody was ready to put
      money down and where I couldn't pull out at least a week of work that
      was relatively stable. And after that, it's always my experience that
      people can think of features far faster than I can build them.

      On one project, for example, the first three stories were

      * guest views home page
      * user logs in
      * user logs out

      With all the shenanigans involved in setting up a new project, starting
      development, and getting something onto production servers the first
      time, this took two weeks. At which point enough research and design had
      happened that there were several more cards ready.

      Of course, all this is just my experience; it's a big world out there.


      > And as far as those conversations between Cooper and Beck, I think
      > they were both doing their best to demonstrate the gulf between the
      > viewpoints, which I suppose was appropriate back then when a lot of
      > the industry was just coming to terms with both of these approaches. I
      > think we've gotten to a point where it makes sense to look for some
      > cross-pollination and middle ground.

      Agreed!

      In fact, since you're in the SF area, you should come by for lunch and
      chat with the team, including the product designer. XP is hard to
      imagine unless you've seen it working. Contact me off-list to arrange
      it.

      William
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