[Agile Guide] – UX and Agile Development

We came upon an older post by Jeff Patton on UX and design. Some of the many questions that clients ask is, “How design fits with in Agile environment.” One of the easiest ways to start this process is have an iteration zero. While we talked about this before, it really is just the tip of the iceberg.

To fully realize the potential of fitting design into an Agile environment we must begin thinking about the broader scope of things. Good thing too, Jeff Patton already outlined 12 of the ways that designers need to fit their thinking into Agile. While often anyone who is set in their ways go through a process of anger and denial in Agile transformations, Craig Villamor tells us that essentially, they need to get over it and get with the program.

“But, there’s an important point here: if you’re a user experience professional, you will need to adapt your current practice to work within an Agile value system and lifecycle. The sooner you get through the first four phases and begin that adaptation, the better.” – Jeff Patton

So what are the 12 steps distilled?


  1. Drive: UX practitioners are part of the customer or product owner team
  2. Research, model, and design up front – but only just enough
  3. Chunk your design work
  4. Use parallel track development to work ahead, and follow behind
  5. Buy design time with complex engineering stories
  6. Cultivate a user validation group for use for continuous user validation
  7. Schedule continuous user research in a separate track from development
  8. Leverage user time for multiple activities
  9. Use RITE to iterate UI before development
  10. Prototype in low fidelity
  11. Treat prototype as specification
  12. Become a design facilitator

We like the time and effort that Jeff put into this very long article. Make sure you take a good look at it when you get a chance!

**Edit**

We found another fantastic article on Agile and UX that we wanted to highlight as well: “Agile UX in Practice” by Jean Claude GROSJEAN. Definitely hit this up as well!

[HT: Agile-UX.com]

[HT: AgileProductDesign]

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5 Responses to “[Agile Guide] – UX and Agile Development”

  1. Derek Huether
    December 1, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    Awesome visual analogy. My question is, what would the Titanic represent?

    • ScoutMaster
      December 1, 2010 at 9:40 am #

      Maybe the titanic is Agile in its purist form allowing all the design thinking to raise to the top and be part of the development process instead of a silo in a waterfall environment…

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