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Re: [agile-usability] Re: where do your UX team-members sit?

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  • George Dinwiddie
    Hi, Scott ... Yes, all of that is true. But that s not where the learning stops. The design, iterated on paper or through mockups, is not /everything/ the
    Message 1 of 52 , Dec 6, 2010
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      Hi, Scott

      On 12/6/10 10:48 AM, scott wrote:
      > However, there's another point in Larry's paragraph that's important.
      > A designer, concentrating only on the design, can iterate that design
      > a lot faster than a designer plus a developer can iterate a
      > design-as-implementation. From the client's point of view, that gives
      > them a much earlier feedback point. And clients tend to want to be
      > able to react to a broad design - an overall design for a site or
      > application, rather than just the narrow slice that the team does in
      > its first sprint.

      Yes, all of that is true. But that's not where the learning stops. The
      design, iterated on paper or through mockups, is not /everything/ the
      client wants. It's likely that this design can still be improved. It's
      almost assured that some parts of this design are more expensive to
      implement than alternatives that may work just as well.

      And the real proof of the value of a design is found with real customers
      on a live site. Focus groups and testing prototypes give a lot of
      information, but sometimes they're a bit off the mark.

      - George

      --
      Dec. 14 - Agile Richmond in Glen Allen, VA
      http://georgedinwiddie.eventbrite.com/
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
      Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
      Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
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    • Kristen Ryan
      I work at a medium sized company. We have three designers and five developers, all who sit in close confines. From reading the posts lately I wonder if we
      Message 52 of 52 , Feb 9, 2011
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        I work at a medium sized company. We have three designers and five developers, all who sit in close confines. From reading the posts lately I wonder if we handle design and development differently.

        It seems (and I may be horribly wrong) that the arguments are mainly against big, up front design. I absolutely agree. However, I don't think that having designers do designs prior to development is a bad thing, if done well and there's plenty of communication.

        We have one month release cycles, which means we're getting real, working software into our clients hands very quickly, and get feedback quickly as well. We do paired design, so two designers will sit down and shake out most of the design. This can take anywhere from a day to a week and a half depending on the size of the story. During this time we meet with developers several times so they know where the design is going, point out technical road blocks, and yes, give design input. Then we hand it over to get coded, and during this time the designers work closely with the developer who's handling the story to answer questions and work out real time design questions.

        So the designers do a bulk of the design (I'd say 95%), but there's no huge outlay of up front design. We do it all 'just in time'. Designs get input from developers, product owners, and other stakeholders. The mock up's may go through three or four iterations before they reach development, all within a few days time.

        I'm not saying that developers cannot design, I think many can to varying degrees. We've just found that paired design done just prior to development, and working in close proximity to each other has allowed us to create great designs quickly.



        On 12/4/10 4:33 PM, Tref Gare wrote:
         

        Our environment is the opposite – we huddle our ux folk together which does give us the cross pollination thing, but means we miss out on the embedded engagement with the developers.  I’d love to find some form of middle ground where I get to regularly mind meld with my design colleagues, but also am in there with the devs when the design hits the metal.

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