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Re: Interaction designer in a Scrum team

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  • Ken H. Judy
    ... In my previous team, our UX director mixed in with the team: proposing UI elements in mockups but also pairing with developers to collaborate on
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 26, 2008
      > What I am interested in is to find out how graphical and
      > interaction designers can be eased into Scrum development.

      In my previous team, our UX director mixed in with the team: proposing
      UI elements in mockups but also pairing with developers to collaborate
      on implementations. The team and UX director shared decisions but the
      UX director retained authority over them.

      The team and product owner learned to defer to him on thorny questions
      of emotion, aesthetic and interaction particularly where the product
      owner had no clear sense of how the decision impacted tangible
      customer value.

      The team had to learn how to deliver constructive feedback on UX. They
      had to learn how to express personal opinion in that context.

      The UX director needed incredible patience taking in well and poorly
      delivered feedback. He had to understand his own process well enough
      to use day to day input to enable his own creativity rather than shut
      it down.

      We evolved this relationship in a small team in an environment of high
      trust and we took months getting there. He came from a more
      traditional agency approach but he did have a personality suited to

      He eventually left our team to become an Interaction Design Director
      at one of the top agencies. He did so because the high profile of the
      work and pay were irresistible, so this experience didn't hurt his
      career progression or his ability to work other ways. Though I know
      for a fact he misses that team and is returning to a smaller
      environment where he can recapture that collaborative experience.

      > thoughts from people who have read Jeff Patton's book
      > and what they think about how his ideas fit with Scrum.

      Haven't read the book yet. Talked to Jeff about his ideas at Agile
      2007 (He was my adviser on my presentation on product ownership) and
      at the Fall Scrum Gathering.

      High praise for his thinking on user experience as a precursor in
      product development (why) not simply as part of execution (what).

      We tend to focus on story writing as the first tangible step agile
      plays in product conception. There are whole worlds of collaboration
      in terms of understanding who the software is for and how it solves
      problems for human beings that should come first.

      Jeff Sutherland says the vast majority of teams run Scrums without
      real backlogs. How many of those few product owners that have backlogs
      derive systems and features from a user-centered perspective?

      Hoping Jeff Patton will give us practices to tackle that problem.

      Ken H. Judy
      Certified Scrum Practitioner, IEEE-CDSP
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