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Re: First post

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  • strugglingdesmond
    ... I believe they do value the user feedback pretty highly. As for respect and openness... that has had its ups and downs. IHMO, the team and process is very
    Message 1 of 13 , Oct 5, 2012
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      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "davidkallen" <davidkallen@...> wrote:
      >
      > It is a rare joy to have a dedicated usability expert on a project. They are lucky. Do they know why you are there? Do they understand the value you bring and respect your profession and expertise? Have you spoken openly with them about your perceptions and worked to find ways to work together more smoothly?
      >
      I believe they do value the user feedback pretty highly. As for respect and openness... that has had its ups and downs.

      IHMO, the team and process is very developer-centric and they don't realize how much. The group is stingy with any group discussion time that is not the developer track. Again, compounding the "problem" for me is they are quite successful and their customers in the govt are very happy as well.

      -- SD
    • strugglingdesmond
      Hi Michael, While I agree with what you say, the team does remarkably well with their non-visual thinking. I m a big proponent of visual thinking, and have
      Message 2 of 13 , Oct 5, 2012
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        Hi Michael,

        While I agree with what you say, the team does remarkably well with their non-visual thinking.

        I'm a big proponent of visual thinking, and have tried to be quicker and better at it by working through books from Dan Roam and keeping up with some visual thinking bloggers.

        One challenge with all of this is I work with a strong designer with high technical skills who has been on the project for years. However, he is far less likely than me to show early drafts of design ideas. He is always produces nice wireframes that the team uses to at least start the development stories. But he is basically part of the team culture of having lots of conversation with little or nothing to visually capture it.

        Anyway... it's an uphill battle, and sometimes I tire of it. For myself at least, I still use a whiteboard drawing to jot notes or depict what is going on to keep my sanity. How much the others take away from it is hard to say.

        -- SD

        --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, Michael James <mj4scrum@...> wrote:
        >
        > Meant to reply sooner.
        >
        > I usually teach teams that the problem with communication is the illusion that it's occurred. Writing something together is a useful way of determining that we're "all on the same page" as you put it, even if the written artifact itself isn't valuable. Even Agile teams that don't create unnecessary documents can use big pens on markerboards or flipchart sheets to help visualize common understanding. So I support your effort to get them to slow down a little and go outside their previous comfort zone with this.
        >
        > --mj
        > (Michael)
        >
        > On Oct 3, 2012, at 12:57 PM, strugglingdesmond <joegrant413@...> wrote:
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > Thanks for your response!
        > >
        > > We do have stories, written in a "gherkin" or "Given / When / Then" format. These are used by QA, and to drive development.
        > >
        > > What motivated my first post is the frustration with the flurry of verbal communication with nothing written even temporarily to be sure we are all on the same page. This bothers me the most when we are talking through what the user does and UI behaviors.
        > >
        > > The team seems allergic to anything written. Except for the gherkin stories.
        > >
        > > -- SD
        > >
        > > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Holm, Stefan" <stefan.holm@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Hi,
        > > > I can understand your frustration. ...
        > > > How is with the testers in the project? Do they not have need of written requirements in order to be able to make test cases?
        > > >
        > > > __________________________________________
        > > >
        > > > Stefan Holm | Usability Designer | Sogeti
        > > > Phone +46 (0) 8 53 68 20 00 | Mobile +46 (0) 709 52 02 18
        > > > stefan.holm@<mailto:stefan.holm@>
        > > >
        > > > Svetsarvägen 4, Solna Business Park | P.O. Box 1399 | 171 27 Solna | Sweden
        > > > www.sogeti.com<http://www.sogeti.com/> / www.sogeti.se<http://www.sogeti.se/> / www.sogeti.no<http://www.sogeti.no/> / www.sogeti.dk<http://www.sogeti.dk/> / www.sogeti.fi<http://www.sogeti.fi/>
        > > >
        > > > [sogeti_varmred_32mm_rgb_72dpi] [branschbast_SveBastaArbGiv_80px]
        > > > __________________________________________
        > > >
        > > > From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of strugglingdesmond
        > > > Sent: den 3 oktober 2012 00:40
        > > > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
        > > > Subject: [agile-usability] First post
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Hello,
        > > >
        > > > This is my first post to the group. I've been a usability / designer / UX guy for more decades than I care to disclose. I'm well acquainted with most UCD practices, and have been on my third Agile project. This third one has me 100% dedicated to one project team in a company 100% dedicated to Agile.
        > > >
        > > > It has been very challenging. Most of the material I've seen about practicing usability in an agile environment doesn't seems to address my particular project situation.
        > > >
        > > > One of the biggest difficulties -- at least for me -- is the team seems to be quite successful at having a lot of detailed communications done only verbally and often in groups. I have felt that even trying to write down anything even briefly on the whiteboard is an unwelcome interruptions.
        > > >
        > > > The team of developers is very smart, and several have been on this complicated project for years. And -- I have to emphasize -- they've been successful at satisfying their govt clients and delivering quality software.
        > > >
        > > > Anyway... that's my story so far.
        > > >
        > > > -- SD
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        >
      • strugglingdesmond
        Yes. After a short time, the more senior people, including the visual designer on the team, eventually take away the discussion with direct conversation and
        Message 3 of 13 , Oct 8, 2012
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          Yes. After a short time, the more senior people, including the visual designer on the team, eventually take away the discussion with direct conversation and eye contact between themselves.

          It is worth trying more. Any change I affect will be gradual.

          Thanks,
          -- SD

          --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, lou schwartz <schwartz.lou@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi,
          > do you have tried live sketching ?
          > When I'm in this situation I sketch to share what I understand and thus to
          > discuss the non-understood parts.
          > I use only paper and pen to quick draw an idea of interface, to design a
          > workflow etc.
          > The better is paper board, but if they are allergic, in a first step, you
          > can use only paper sheet on the table.
          >
          > Good luck
          >
          > Lou
          >
          >
          > Lou Schwartz
          > R&D Engineer
          > --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          >
          > Centre de Recherche Public Henri Tudor
          > SSI - Service Science and Innovation
          > Unit SISE - Software Intensive Services Engineering
          > 29, avenue John F. Kennedy
          > L-1855 Luxembourg
          > --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          > Please do not print this document unless it is necessary. Consider the
          > environment.
          >
          > 2012/10/5 Michael James <mj4scrum@...>
          >
          > > **
          > >
          > >
          > > Meant to reply sooner.
          > >
          > > I usually teach teams that the problem with communication is the illusion
          > > that it's occurred. Writing something together is a useful way of
          > > determining that we're "all on the same page" as you put it, even if the
          > > written artifact itself isn't valuable. Even Agile teams that don't create
          > > unnecessary documents can use big pens on markerboards or flipchart sheets
          > > to help visualize common understanding. So I support your effort to get
          > > them to slow down a little and go outside their previous comfort zone with
          > > this.
          > >
          > > --mj
          > > (Michael)
          > >
          > > On Oct 3, 2012, at 12:57 PM, strugglingdesmond <joegrant413@...>
          > > wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > Thanks for your response!
          > >
          > > We do have stories, written in a "gherkin" or "Given / When / Then"
          > > format. These are used by QA, and to drive development.
          > >
          > > What motivated my first post is the frustration with the flurry of verbal
          > > communication with nothing written even temporarily to be sure we are all
          > > on the same page. This bothers me the most when we are talking through what
          > > the user does and UI behaviors.
          > >
          > > The team seems allergic to anything written. Except for the gherkin
          > > stories.
          > >
          > > -- SD
          > >
          > > --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Holm, Stefan" <stefan.holm@>
          > > wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Hi,
          > > > I can understand your frustration. ...
          > > > How is with the testers in the project? Do they not have need of written
          > > requirements in order to be able to make test cases?
          > > >
          > > > __________________________________________
          > > >
          > > > Stefan Holm | Usability Designer | Sogeti
          > > > Phone +46 (0) 8 53 68 20 00 | Mobile +46 (0) 709 52 02 18
          > > > stefan.holm@<mailto:stefan.holm@>
          > > >
          > > > Svetsarvägen 4, Solna Business Park | P.O. Box 1399 | 171 27 Solna |
          > > Sweden
          > > > www.sogeti.com<http://www.sogeti.com/> / www.sogeti.se<
          > > http://www.sogeti.se/> / www.sogeti.no<http://www.sogeti.no/> /
          > > www.sogeti.dk<http://www.sogeti.dk/> / www.sogeti.fi<http://www.sogeti.fi/
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > [sogeti_varmred_32mm_rgb_72dpi] [branschbast_SveBastaArbGiv_80px]
          > > > __________________________________________
          > > >
          > > > From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:
          > > agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of strugglingdesmond
          > > > Sent: den 3 oktober 2012 00:40
          > > > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
          > > > Subject: [agile-usability] First post
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Hello,
          > > >
          > > > This is my first post to the group. I've been a usability / designer /
          > > UX guy for more decades than I care to disclose. I'm well acquainted with
          > > most UCD practices, and have been on my third Agile project. This third one
          > > has me 100% dedicated to one project team in a company 100% dedicated to
          > > Agile.
          > > >
          > > > It has been very challenging. Most of the material I've seen about
          > > practicing usability in an agile environment doesn't seems to address my
          > > particular project situation.
          > > >
          > > > One of the biggest difficulties -- at least for me -- is the team seems
          > > to be quite successful at having a lot of detailed communications done only
          > > verbally and often in groups. I have felt that even trying to write down
          > > anything even briefly on the whiteboard is an unwelcome interruptions.
          > > >
          > > > The team of developers is very smart, and several have been on this
          > > complicated project for years. And -- I have to emphasize -- they've been
          > > successful at satisfying their govt clients and delivering quality software.
          > > >
          > > > Anyway... that's my story so far.
          > > >
          > > > -- SD
          > > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
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