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Re: [agile-usability] Re: Integrating usability testing with Scrum

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  • Carol Smith
    Hello everyone, I encourage those of you integrating usability techniques in an Agile environment and interested in getting better, to participate in this
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 18, 2010
      Hello everyone,

      I encourage those of you integrating usability techniques in an Agile environment and interested in getting better, to participate in this workshop in June:

      Workshop Title: Integrating with Agile: Advanced Techniques
      Location: UPA 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia - http://usabilityprofessionals.org/conference/2011/index.html
      Day/Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2011
      Time: 2:40 p.m. - 6:00 p.m
      Facilitators: Carol Smith (Midwest Research) and Thyra Rauch (IBM)

      ABSTRACT:
      Advanced workshop where we will explore usability techniques that integrate well in an Agile environment and the timing for integrating those techniques. We will discuss common team issues such as working remotely and additional advanced issues based on the attendees position papers.

      GOALS FOR THE SESSION:
      Attendees at this session will explore:
      • Usability techniques that work in Agile environments.
      • Usability techniques that could be adapted to work in Agile environments.
      • When and how those techniques can best be integrated into projects.
      • Working with the team, and working remotely.

      AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
      This workshop will be highly participatory with all participants expected to help structure the Workshop and contribute to the discussion. Attendees are expected to be experienced usability practitioners who have Agile team experience.

      -------------------

      Carol J. Smith, Midwest Research

      UPA 2011 - Atlanta, Georgia - 21-24 June, 2011 - Conference registration opens soon!

      http://usabilityprofessionals.org/conference/2011/index.html



      On Sat, Dec 18, 2010 at 9:56 AM, Adrian Howard <adrianh@...> wrote:
       


      On 16 Dec 2010, at 05:06, Lauren Miller wrote:

      > Thanks all for the tips and links. I would say there isn't yet wide
      > acceptance of UX practices here. A weekly process would probably be too
      > intense for my group. But I do like the idea of doing testing on a regular
      > basis.

      Smaller tests more often seems to be a common pattern with folk integrating usability testing into agile processes. You might also find these of interest:

      * Cindy McCracken & Skye Pazuchanics' session Making Usability Testing Agile talks about their experiences integrating usability testing at iContact - http://is.gd/iXwWl

      * Moses Hohman & Suzy Thompson's session Integrating design & agile on a budget has a nice piece on integrating regular discount usability testing in an agile process - http://is.gd/iXwSW

      Cheers,

      Adrian
      --
      http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
      t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward del.icio.us/adrianh


    • hughrbeyer
      One main point of 5 users every Friday is that you schedule your user feedback sessions ahead of time--every Friday is fine, but once a sprint is fine too,
      Message 2 of 12 , Feb 8, 2011
        One main point of "5 users every Friday" is that you schedule your user feedback sessions ahead of time--every Friday is fine, but once a sprint is fine too, if that's what you can manage. You schedule and recruit the users and then you figure out what you'll have ready for them to test--and in an Agile project, there will always be something to test. That way you don't allow recruitment to be the gating factor. It takes time to line up the users--if you wait to set them up until you have something to test, you have a hard time fitting into short sprint timeframes.

        Hugh R. Beyer
        InContext Design
        Email: beyer@...



        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Lauren Miller <lauren2miller@...> wrote:
        >
        > Thanks all for the tips and links. I would say there isn't yet wide
        > acceptance of UX practices here. A weekly process would probably be too
        > intense for my group. But I do like the idea of doing testing on a regular
        > basis.
        >
        > On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 6:35 AM, Lane lbh.inc@... wrote:
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > Hi,
        > >
        > > One of the most effective practices I've seen for integrating user feedback
        > > in Scrum is a concept called "Five Users Every Friday." Tom Illmense
        > > presented a paper on this at Agile2009. I can't find the deck, but here are
        > > two links with some information.
        > >
        > > http://agile2009.agilealliance.org/node/2765
        > > http://www.tomhume.org/2009/08/agile-2009-5-users-every-friday.html
        > >
        > > You might also check out the deck "Beyond Staggered Sprints" from Jeff
        > > Gothelf TheLadders
        > >
        > >
        > > http://www.slideshare.net/jgothelf/beyond-staggered-sprints-integrating-user-experience-and-agile
        > >
        > > Slide 40 has some notes about how they're doing usability in-line with
        > > their sprints.
        > >
        > > Best regards,
        > >
        > > -lane
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <agile-usability%40yahoogroups.com>,
        > > "lauren2miller" lauren2miller@ wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Hi,
        > > >
        > > > My company is moving to agile Scrum and I'm providing input on how to do
        > > user research moving forward. In particular, I'd like to suggest that we
        > > start doing usability testing alongside the Scrum sprints.
        > > >
        > > > UX, product management and agile/Scrum are all new to my company (over
        > > the last 6 months). There is very strong executive support for changing over
        > > from the current waterfall process to an agile Scrum process with the hope
        > > of getting better quality products faster (per the usual). But I am the only
        > > UX person in the whole company (also new) and it's looking like the Scrum
        > > process will be by the book and not include any real wireframing or
        > > prototyping work up front, at least to start. My role is going to be less
        > > interaction designer and more researcher/advisor. I'm hoping that engaging
        > > the PMs and Devs in usability testing will open their eyes to users as
        > > people and improve their design thinking.
        > > >
        > > > Any tips on how to integrate usability testing with Scrum and use it to
        > > help convey UX principles to non-UX folks? How have folks done this
        > > successfully elsewhere? Any failures to learn from?
        > > >
        > > > I would love to hear about your experiences!
        > > >
        > > > - Lauren
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
      • Robin Dymond
        Hi Lauren, It is a myth that you can t do good usability/ux/ucd and do scrum by the book. Remember the goal is great software, not pretty wireframes high
        Message 3 of 12 , Feb 8, 2011
          Hi Lauren,

          It is a myth that you can't do good usability/ux/ucd and do scrum by
          the book. Remember the goal is great software, not pretty wireframes
          high fidelity concepts.

          Please read the archive of this list, lots of people are doing it,
          stepping out of the dev path into researcher advisor is not so much
          fun, especially if you like building great UX.

          I wrote a step by step guide I posted here last week, and it became a
          blog post at www.Innovel.net, try it out.

          Some great advice from other posters to your question, William Petri's
          reply is one to show to your dev team :)

          I disagree that the definition of ready for a story should include
          wireframes. Ready means the team has enough information to task out
          the work and that is is small enough to be easily implemented in a
          sprint. Imposing a complex wireframe as a ready definition is simply a
          justification for not finding a simpler way to convey the same
          information. A sketch, sure, a paper prototype ok. They provide the
          flexbility and collaborative space for change and input from others
          while conveying your ideas.

          But I suggest you reconsider and find a way to stay in the game
          instead of stepping out, because the root cause, you can't do your
          work in Scrum is not true.

          Cheers,
          Robin.



          On Tuesday, February 8, 2011, hughrbeyer <beyer@...> wrote:
          >
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          >
          > One main point of "5 users every Friday" is that you schedule your user feedback sessions ahead of time--every Friday is fine, but once a sprint is fine too, if that's what you can manage. You schedule and recruit the users and then you figure out what you'll have ready for them to test--and in an Agile project, there will always be something to test. That way you don't allow recruitment to be the gating factor. It takes time to line up the users--if you wait to set them up until you have something to test, you have a hard time fitting into short sprint timeframes.
          >
          > Hugh R. Beyer
          > InContext Design
          > Email: beyer@...
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Lauren Miller <lauren2miller@...> wrote:
          >>
          >> Thanks all for the tips and links. I would say there isn't yet wide
          >> acceptance of UX practices here. A weekly process would probably be too
          >> intense for my group. But I do like the idea of doing testing on a regular
          >> basis.
          >>
          >> On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 6:35 AM, Lane lbh.inc@... wrote:
          >>
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > Hi,
          >> >
          >> > One of the most effective practices I've seen for integrating user feedback
          >> > in Scrum is a concept called "Five Users Every Friday." Tom Illmense
          >> > presented a paper on this at Agile2009. I can't find the deck, but here are
          >> > two links with some information.
          >> >
          >> > http://agile2009.agilealliance.org/node/2765
          >> > http://www.tomhume.org/2009/08/agile-2009-5-users-every-friday.html
          >> >
          >> > You might also check out the deck "Beyond Staggered Sprints" from Jeff
          >> > Gothelf TheLadders
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > http://www.slideshare.net/jgothelf/beyond-staggered-sprints-integrating-user-experience-and-agile
          >> >
          >> > Slide 40 has some notes about how they're doing usability in-line with
          >> > their sprints.
          >> >
          >> > Best regards,
          >> >
          >> > -lane
          >> >
          >> >
          >> > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com <agile-usability%40yahoogroups.com>,
          >> > "lauren2miller" lauren2miller@ wrote:
          >> > >
          >> > > Hi,
          >> > >
          >> > > My company is moving to agile Scrum and I'm providing input on how to do
          >> > user research moving forward. In particular, I'd like to suggest that we
          >> > start doing usability testing alongside the Scrum sprints.
          >> > >
          >> > > UX, product management and agile/Scrum are all new to my company (over
          >> > the last 6 months). There is very strong executive support for changing over
          >> > from the current waterfall process to an agile Scrum process with the hope
          >> > of getting better quality products faster (per the usual). But I am the only
          >> > UX person in the whole company (also new) and it's looking like the Scrum
          >> > process will be by the book and not include any real wireframing or
          >> > prototyping work up front, at least to start. My role is going to be less
          >> > interaction designer and more researcher/advisor. I'm hoping that engaging
          >> > the PMs and Devs in usability testing will open their eyes to users as
          >> > people and improve their design thinking.
          >> > >
          >> > > Any tips on how to integrate usability testing with Scrum and use it to
          >> > help convey UX principles to non-UX folks? How have folks done this
          >> > successfully elsewhere? Any failures to learn from?
          >> > >
          >> > > I would love to hear about your experiences!
          >> > >
          >> > > - Lauren
          >> > >
          >> >
          >> >
          >> >
          >>
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          --
          Robin Dymond, CST
          Managing Partner, Innovel, LLC.
          www.innovel.net
          www.scrumtraining.com
          Americas: (804) 239-4329
          Europe: +32 489 674 366
        • Natalie
          Thank you for the tips!
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 7, 2011
            Thank you for the tips!

            --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Austin Govella <austin.govella@...> wrote:
            >
            > On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 1:05 PM, lauren2miller <lauren2miller@...> wrote:
            > > My company is moving to agile Scrum and I'm providing input on how to do user research moving forward. In particular, I'd like to suggest that we start doing usability testing alongside the Scrum sprints.... There is very strong executive support for changing over from the current waterfall process to an agile Scrum process with the hope of getting better quality products faster (per the usual).
            >
            > A couple quick points of advice:
            >
            > First, agile is not faster. It release smaller pieces. Smaller pieces
            > take less time to build and can be completed more quickly, but if
            > you're building the Great Wall of China, you still have to take the
            > time to lay every single brick.
            >
            > Second, developers will need to book time to watch usability tests,
            > review and decide on fixes, and implement the fixes. This reduces the
            > amount of code they can write, but you can't fix the problems you find
            > if they haven't set aside time to do so. RITE testing is usually the
            > way to go.
            >
            > Third, get a bucket. In addition to time devs book for fixes, get X
            > number of hours per sprint to use in a UX bucket. This time is not
            > pre-planned and should be used exclusively as you see fit to fix
            > things you find or to implement that unsexy code that's super
            > important to the UX but not sexy enough to make it to the top of
            > management's priority list. (Sounds scary, but usually the product
            > manager LOVES this because it gives them wiggle room.)
            >
            > Fourth, at sprint planning, have the team sketch flows for each story
            > with any user interface. And for important data or interaction
            > screens, have them sketch the screens. You would assist and review in
            > the planning meeting. (I firmly believe the vast majority of UX+agile
            > problems arise can be avoided if everyone sketches everything
            > together.)
            >
            > Fifth, put your stuff on the walls so everyone can see it. This shows
            > everyone what you do and teaches them how to do it themselves.
            >
            > Sixth, create broad site architectures, common interaction patterns,
            > and personas. These are like guidelines so devs can figure things out
            > for themselves instead of needing you to review everything.
            >
            > Seventh, identify your black knights and spend as much time working
            > with them as possible.
            >
            >
            >
            > --
            > Austin Govella
            > User Experience
            >
            > Work: http://www.grafofini.com
            > Blog: http://www.thinkingandmaking.com
            >
            > austin@...
            > 215-240-1265
            >
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