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Usability Expertise in Agile Projects

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  • deniziren
    Hello to all, Here is a mind-blowing, real-life question for you: We are aware that usability expertise is required for many UI-dependent software development
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 1 2:26 AM
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      Hello to all,

      Here is a mind-blowing, real-life question for you:

      We are aware that usability expertise is required for many UI-dependent software development projects. However, usability expertise is not easy to find, not cheap and not consistently needed throughout the project. In your real-life experience, where does your agile team seek the usability expertise required to develop a software product?

      Thank you for your ideas in advance...

      --
      Y. Deniz ÝREN
      * PMP
      * PhD Cdt.
      * HCI Enthusiast
    • Daniël W. Crompton
      Hi, Not really that mindblowing, the UI experience that a SCRUM team develops doesn t need to be the end product that the user experiences. Depending on the
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 1 9:02 AM
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        Hi,

        Not really that mindblowing, the UI experience that a SCRUM team
        develops doesn't need to be the end product that the user experiences.
        Depending on the way the components are constructed they can be styled
        in any way a User Experience specialist desires. That does mean taking
        this into account during the development of these components.

        The way I have done it in the past is to build a simple ugly UI that
        can be used by the developers to demonstrate the functionality
        throught what ever method the UI requires. These component templates
        could either be pre-build by the UI specialist or integrated when the
        components or he is available.

        In some cases I imagine he should be available to the Product Owner to
        create User Stories, or advise on the Definition of Done.

        D.



        On 01/09/2011, deniziren <deniziren@...> wrote:
        > Hello to all,
        >
        > Here is a mind-blowing, real-life question for you:
        >
        > We are aware that usability expertise is required for many UI-dependent
        > software development projects. However, usability expertise is not easy to
        > find, not cheap and not consistently needed throughout the project. In your
        > real-life experience, where does your agile team seek the usability
        > expertise required to develop a software product?
        >
        > Thank you for your ideas in advance...
        >
        > --
        > Y. Deniz ÝREN
        > * PMP
        > * PhD Cdt.
        > * HCI Enthusiast
        >
        >

        --
        Sent from my mobile device

        blaze your trail

        --
        Daniël W. Crompton <daniel.crompton@...>

        <http://specialbrands.net/>

        <http://specialbrands.net/>
        http://specialbrands.net/
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        <http://www.facebook.com/webhat><http://plancast.com/webhat><http://www.linkedin.com/in/redhat>
      • George Dinwiddie
        Deniz, ... Yes, not mind-blowing at all. In my experience, people with UI expertise often help the Product Owner define what is desired. They also sit with
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 1 12:01 PM
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          Deniz,

          On 9/1/11 5:26 AM, deniziren wrote:
          > Hello to all,
          >
          > Here is a mind-blowing, real-life question for you:
          >
          > We are aware that usability expertise is required for many
          > UI-dependent software development projects. However, usability
          > expertise is not easy to find, not cheap and not consistently needed
          > throughout the project. In your real-life experience, where does your
          > agile team seek the usability expertise required to develop a
          > software product?

          Yes, not mind-blowing at all.

          In my experience, people with UI expertise often help the Product Owner
          define what is desired. They also sit with developers, sometimes,
          during implementation, to answer detailed questions in real time and
          guide the development of the UI. This is preferable to spending time
          creating high-fidelity prototypes and allows intelligent tradeoffs
          between desired UI and implementation issues.

          - George

          --
          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
          Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
          Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        • Michael James
          ... I suspect designers will be more consistently needed as teams learn to implement UIs faster. Here s what our UI designer had to say about being a full-time
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 1 12:45 PM
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            On Sep 1, 2011, at 2:26 AM, deniziren wrote:

            > not consistently needed throughout the project.

            I suspect designers will be more consistently needed as teams learn to implement UIs faster.

            Here's what our UI designer had to say about being a full-time Scrum team member:
            http://blogs.collab.net/agile/2011/06/30/is-ui-work-or-requirements/

            --mj
            http://ScrumTrainingSeries.com
          • Deniz İren
            The thing is, if I *include a usability expert in the team* his work completes in approximately one day per each week of development. Available usability
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 2 6:58 AM
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              The thing is, if I include a usability expert in the team his work completes in approximately one day per each week of development. Available usability experts around here don't have technical background so they neither possess other skills to add value, nor they want to do any other work. If I choose to hire a usability expert for the organization and utilize him in more than one agile project, I get better results of productivity and similar usability feel accross products developed throughout the organization, form a repository for best practices of UI design, testing, risks etc.. But development organizations may not have more than two or three parallel running projects so it may be a false assumption. Another alternative is to acquire the usability expertise as consultancy from outside the organization. 

              I believe there is not a right or wrong way to do it. It depends on the case. I wonder how agile folks do it and under what circumstances. Write down a little bit of your experiences, please. I would like to read more. 

              @michael: Great post BTW. Thank you.  


              On Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 10:45 PM, Michael James <mj4scrum@...> wrote:
               


              On Sep 1, 2011, at 2:26 AM, deniziren wrote:

              > not consistently needed throughout the project.

              I suspect designers will be more consistently needed as teams learn to implement UIs faster.

              Here's what our UI designer had to say about being a full-time Scrum team member:
              http://blogs.collab.net/agile/2011/06/30/is-ui-work-or-requirements/

              --mj
              http://ScrumTrainingSeries.com




              --
              Y. Deniz İREN
              * PMP               
              * PhD Candidate 
              * HCI Enthusiast 
              < www.deniziren.com >
            • Deniz İren
              I prepared a 6 question survey to gather the statistics about where people acquire the usability expertise in their agile projects. I believe this may provide
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 5 1:15 AM
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                I prepared a 6 question survey to gather the statistics about where people acquire the usability expertise in their agile projects. I believe this may provide insights at some level for the community. So if you please, give 2 minutes of your time to answer these 6 questions. 

                Cheers

                Survey Link: 

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