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Some thoughts

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  • Agustín Villena
    Hi Jeff: I m from Chile, and I share my time between a job as senior developer of xml-based tax applications at a small local software firm, and teaching
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 9, 2004
      Hi Jeff:
      I'm from Chile, and I share my time between a job as senior
      developer of xml-based tax applications at  a small local software
      firm, and teaching Extreme Programming at the main local University
      (Universidad de Chile), and my personal interest are educational
      software tools and usability.
      Since the college's days, I'm exploring ways to do software more
      enjoyable to use, but all popular methodologies and techniques of this
      days (middle 90's : "user centered design", "experience design",
      "ethnographic design", etc) seemed vaguely defined, with no real
      relation with software engineering techniques (use cases, as the most
      important example). Four years ago I begin studying agile
      methodologies in my own work, and one year later I begin experimenting
      with XP in academic projects, and a soon I found that GUIs cannot be
      "refactored" like other source code. I've read the famous dialogue
      between Kent Beck and Alan Cooper, but I can't get any good advice for
      the agile+usability convergence, only disagreement in their
      opinions,... until I check Contantine & Loockwood's work. It seemed to
      me a good (and better) solution for agile usability defined until now.
      It is strange to me that Usage Centered Design had no achieved good
      support and interest from the agile community (with some notable
      exceptions). Maybe it is because U-CD is a "closed source" solution
      until now ("you must buy the book", "you must attend at our
      I read your excelent paper & presentation "Hitting the target", the
      first "open source" applied U-CD experience that I've found, and I'm
      starving for read more papers like this.

      Well, currently I'm developing a Delphi GUI for our c++ command-line
      tools, and It is a good excuse to implement U-CD. I have defined the
      use cases in some informal way, not the "abstract-technology
      free-dialogue form" task use form (by the I've found that writing this
      "task cases" "in the right way" is not as easy as it seems) and I
      really want to see this cases mapped onto a delphi GUI. I cannot have
      the time and budget to create new widgets (as Larry & Lucy do in their
      papers), as I must live with standard windows controls. I also found
      that grouping the use cases in "interaction context" is an obscure

      Maybe it would be a good idea to write the way to U-CD design a good &
      known GUI (Windows Explorer, Internet Browser, etc) to demonstrate all
      the steps tah U-CD defines...

      Well, all new ideas & advice would be really appreciated, and I'll be
      waiting for your new paper.

      Good Work!

      On Tue, 9 Nov 2004 08:37:40 -0700 (MST), Jeff Patton <jpatton@...> wrote:
      > Thank you very much for the kind words!  I'd love
      your feedback on the
      > Better software article posted here:
      onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)" href="http://www.abstractics.com/papers" target=_blank>www.abstractics.com/papers  It gives
      > a step by
      step example on how I do Constantine & Lockwood's role modeling
      > in a
      less formal collaborative manner.  As soon as I get the final edits
      on it, I'll have a similar article on task based release planning.  I'm in
      > the process of documenting how I've been using U-CD techniques in
      > collaborative manner.  On my list is documenting the task
      modeling to
      > interaction context thing.  I'll let you know when
      that's complete - it
      > may help with the question you originally had in
      your request to join.
      > Also, please consider posting to the
      group.  Without questions, the
      > conversation quickly dies.
       We've got a good mix of practictioners from
      > pure agile developers
      to pure UCD people.
      > What part of the world do you live
      > Thanks,
      > -Jeff
      > Agustín
      Villena said:
      > > Thanks jeff:
      > >     Your paper
      "hitting the target" has been one of my favorites, because
      > >
      > > its simplicity and practical recomendations (that are much more
      > > that
      > > the academic papers of Constantine &
      Loockwood). I'm trying to apply UCD,
      > > but I'm too far from related
      Conferences, and Larry's site seems dead. I
      > > did'nt know that an
      specailized interest group exists until today,
      > > therefore
      > > I'll be reading the group everyday!
      > >
      > > Good
      > >   Agustin
      > >
      > >
      > > -----
      Original Message -----
      > > From: "Jeff Patton" <
      onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)" href="mailto:jpatton@...">jpatton@...>
      > > To: <
      onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)" href="mailto:avillena@...">avillena@...>
      > >
      Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 11:07 AM
      > > Subject: FW: APPROVE --
      cuchovillena <avillena@...> wants to join
      > > agile-usability
      > >
      > >
      > >> In
      your request to join, you were interested in a pretty specific
      > >>
      > >> area - tasks to interaction contexts in U-CD.
       I'll look forward to you
      > >> posting some specific questions
      on the list.  I think I can help out a
      > >> bit -
      > >> and I think we can draw Larry Constantine out to answer some
      > >> questions also.
      > >>
      > >>
      Thanks for joining.
      > >>
      > >>
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