Published on November 30, 2008
Can’t we just all get along? HUMAN- CENTERED DE S IGN MEE TS AGIL E Maria Giudice, CEO and Founder, Hot Studio, Inc.
What does agile and waterfall mean and how does it relate to human-centered design principles? What are the pros and cons for each method? Can’t we just all get along? What’s this all about?
Alon Salant and David Hendee, Carbon Five Ajay Ramachandran, SourceN Henry Poole, Civic Actions Mike Migurski and Eric Rodenbeck, Stamen Design Kelly Goto, Gotomedia Josh Damon Williams and Tanya Herrgott, Hot Studio Arena Reed from Pivotal Labs Janice Fraser and David Verba, Emmett Labs Chad Coerver, SFMOMA Caroline Allison and Dan Engfer, Viscape.com Kathy Simpson, Dave Shih and others, Hot Studio Many slide lectures, podcasts, videos. blogs & several documents by Jeﬀ Patton from Thoughtworks Why is this issue so emotional?
Human-centered design Agile Waterfall Where I sit in the great debate
Winston Royce, 1970 Software development model that reduces risk and manages complexity What does “Waterfall” mean?
Waterfall approach User Experience Visual Design Engineering Project Management Discovery Strategy Design Build Transfer
Predictable and structured approach Human-centered: solutions are based on upfront research and strategy Team roles are clearly deﬁned (designers design, engineers build) Rigid, heavy, and slow Documentation and speciﬁcations What does “Waterfall” mean?
“Waterfall method is best when you can’t aﬀord to learn from your mistakes. You don’t design software for the Space Shuttle in an Agile manner.” Alon Salant, engineer
Types of projects: Creating experiential, immersive, branded experiences that are not module-driven High-risk or complex projects that require breadth and deep thinking Findings through design research and insight are key to project success Team dynamics: Engineering platform and team is not deﬁned early on Team is remote, making collaboration and quick decision-making diﬃcult Client situations: Clients that don’t understand user’s needs, wants and desires and lack domain knowledge Cannot be involved face-to-face, day-to-day or make decisions quickly Many stakeholders that require documentation to provide context around decision-making When Waterfall method works better
“The team didn’t just learn about our work, they lived and breathed it and became a part of our team. The design process helped us focus our mission and the work they did truly reﬂects the diﬀerence collaborative design can make in people’s lives.” Kate Stohr, client “Taking an intensely user-centered approach based on well-researched user analysis, not conjecture or marketing hype, is as much a guarantee for success as is possible in an arena where the consumer is king.“ Leigh Hood, client Team issues: Waterfall
“Waterfall methods can make it easier to carve out time to step back and think big.” Tanya Herrgott, user experience architect “Time to think is one thing, but freedom to change your mind is another. Agile can take the pressure oﬀ designers from getting it right the ﬁrst time.” Alon Salant, engineer Team issues: Waterfall
What does “Agile” mean?
Agile Manifesto, 2001 We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.
Cycle 1 Cycle 2 n s ig de user validation bu i user user ld story story pl an i te s t te r a t i o iterations iterations te n a e va l u 2–3 week iterations or sprints Cycle X until product releases Project lead Client User experience Visual design Engineering Deliver useful, working software early and continuously through iteration.
Trust Iterative and evolutionary design, continual learning and reﬁnement Flexibility and ability to handle changing requirements Client-driven or engineer-driven design, designer as consultant Solutions largely based on intuition or hunches Priorities are focused on addressing business needs and value Lightweight Fast but not necessarily cheaper
XP—Extreme Programming FDD—Feature Driven Development Crystal Scrum DSDM—Dynamic System Development Method Adaptive Software Development Lean Software Development Agile methods
“All the engineers need is a picture and a conversation.” Josh Damon Williams, user experience architect
Types of projects: Applications with an existing conceptual framework already in place; adding features Start-ups with a very clear vision of their product, its features and goals Early working prototypes are that required for funding, speed to market is critical Team dynamics: Trust is paramount Experienced, embedded team that can collaborate and actively participate Designers (user experience and visual) who are comfortable with constant iteration Engineers who are human-centric Client situations: Clients who can make quick decisions and are available every day (but can change their mind) Business goals and vision are clear and will not change Client understands users needs, subject matter, and domain knowledge When Agile works better
“At ﬁrst, we were really scared. We were always concerned that we would run out of time. Then it became really fun! Agile allowed us to build in 50% more features. We were amazed by that.” Dan Engfer, client “I imagined this system fully formed when I started the project and I was wrong. If I had them execute to that original vision I would have gotten something I wasn’t happy with.” Janice Fraser, client Team issues: Agile
“A lot of times I felt like the tail was wagging the dog in terms of the details and the schedule creating and deﬁning the vision.” Tanya Herrgott, user experience architect “The current project I’m working on is like the war in Iraq. They quickly attack, you declare victory, and then you have to spend a lot of time to achieve something meaningful.” Josh Damon Williams, user experience architect Team issues: User Experience
“I’m always nervous about Agile. You have to think on your feet and be ﬂexible all of the time.” David Shih, visual designer “We give our customers the highest value for time spent in the shortest time.” Alon Salant, engineer Team issues: Visual Design and Engineering
Clash of the titans
Disconnects and philosophical diﬀerences “It’s intuitive from a design point of view to design upfront, and it’s intuitive for the engineers to see it all upfront, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Arena Reed, user experience architect
Holistic vs. modular thinking Research-based assumptions/decisions vs. hunches/intuition Enumeration and alternatives vs. iterations User research vs. user validation Scheduled change vs. continual change Artifacts vs. working software Quality vs. quantity Big disconnects
Similarities “Ultimately, the end goals are the same, to build products that don’t suck and to deliver value to the end user.” David Verba, engineer
Full team involvement and participation is important on day one User feedback is valued at all points in the process Collaboration and respecting individual contribution is key to good design Prioritization methods help set expectations Design for ﬂexibility; expect change and evolution Communication is critical and needs to be transparent Similarities
Waterfall-Agile Combo Research assessment (interviews, contextual inquiry, usability tests) Cycle 0 Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Engineering 2 weeks n Goal modeling s ig de user validation bu i User modeling user user ld Scenario & task modeling story story 2–4 weeks Concept modeling pl an i te s t High level te r a t i o sitemaps or task ows iterations iterations Key schematics te n Feature prioritization a e va l u 2–3 week iterations or sprints Cycle X until product releases Project lead Client Discovery Strategy Design User experience Build Transfer Visual design Engineering
Research assessment (interviews, contextual Human-centered-Agile inquiry, usability tests) Cycle 0 Cycle 1 Cycle 2 2 weeks n Goal modeling s ig de user validation bu i User modeling user user ld Scenario & task modeling story story 2–4 weeks Concept modeling pl an i te s t High level te r a t i o sitemaps or task ows iterations iterations Key schematics te n Feature prioritization a e va l u 2–3 week iterations or sprints Cycle X until product releases Project lead Client User experience Visual design Engineering
Redefine the definition of “designer”— include everyone in the design process, but still be clear on ownership of decisions, including clients Communicate and collaborate early and often Be flexible, trust your team, and don’t let your ego get the best of you Lessons learned
We can all get along.
Thank you! firstname.lastname@example.org Questions and answers www.hotstudio.com blog: hottub.hotstudio.com
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