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Re: [agile-usability] my take on inserting UCD practices into agile sw development

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  • katie pula
    Jeff, I m a new joiner, and the content you just sent in your last email is the reason I joined this group. I am an Information Architect with experience
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 10, 2005
      I'm a new joiner, and the content you just sent in your last email is the reason I joined this group. I am an Information Architect with experience working mostly with websites, e-learning apps, and kiosks. I just began a contract with a company that is developing a huge upgrade for a very complex software for airplane engineers. I am working on storyboards (from use cases) currently, and am also planning the first round of usability testing. The app doesn't launch until the end of 2006 - so everything is very preliminary right now. We are working in an "agile" development environment (although, I'm not sure everyone knows that), and I am trying to find the best ways to approach this first round of testing. I've done paper prototyping before - and although my last experience was using similar technologies, the user tasks, general UI, etc, were very much different. I feel a bit unsure about how to test with paper prototypes for software like this. I find it hard to come across case studies that deal with this in detail - there is a ton of stuff out there for preliminary testing for websites and smaller apps, but not much for larger apps. I find your proposed book to be very interesting and helpful - even the heavy weight IA writers out there aren't really dealing with this too much - it's all about the web. I'm looking for very practical advice - i've got enough theory to sink a ship.
      Kind regards,
      Katie Pula

      Jeff Patton <jpatton@...> wrote:

      It's been a slow few weeks on this list - not much discussion.  But,
      oddly, the number of joiners continues to be steady.  There are a lot
      of people wanting to better understand how usability and UCD
      practices work in an agile environment.  For those new people just
      getting on to the list, please consider asking questions.  There are
      lots of folks on the list engaged in usability/ucd stuff in agile
      environments.  There are lots of folks proficient in this agile stuff
      who can answer questions.

      I get to read the tag lines of people who join.  [Thanks to those who
      joined patient enough to fill them in - helps keep out the
      spammers.]  The top reason folks put down is wanting to understand
      how UCD/usability practices work in an agile environment.  Some of
      you may have seen me present my short powerpoint deck on how I think
      this works.  Well, in the spirit of turning "a sandwich into a
      banquet" I've started writing around this subject.  I've got a
      proposed table of contexts and 3 chapters for a book available to
      look at.  In the first chapters I explain agility simply, the second
      explains UCD - stealing Garrett's UE model, the third merges the
      model and gives guidelines on what activities to do when in an agile

      toc: http://www.abstractics.com/book-proposal/tableOfContents.pdf
      chapter 1: http://www.abstractics.com/book-proposal/1-
      chapter 2: http://www.abstractics.com/book-proposal/2-UCD.pdf
      chapter 3: http://www.abstractics.com/book-proposal/3-Threading.pdf

      For those with a bit of time on their hands, I'd appreciate your
      feedback, on or off the list.

      For those with a different mental model of how this works, I'd love
      to hear how it that - on or off list.

      For those wondering how to merge agility and UCD, you've got my
      complete take on this in these chapters.  Read them and form your own

      There's more work to come.  I'll get a website up with a chapters
      available for download as they're available.

      Thanks all.


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