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Adding design to an agile development process

Upfront design and agile don’t mix well
It’s an interesting problem to try and mix traditional design tasks – visual polish, user research testing, etc. – to an agile development process. A weekly development cycle doesn’t leave much room for several iterations of mockups, the immense effort of recruiting and interviewing users, and all these other important tasks.

Anyway, I was sent this recent link I’d encourage you to read on 12 emerging best practices for adding UX work to Agile development.

Here are the list of 12:

  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

In general, the best practices are about taking the down the level of fidelity in the design process and trying to work ahead of the engineers so that they get the fast feedback they need. Definitely worth reading.

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