What Is Agile UX?
Agile UX is the marriage of agile software-development methodology and the principles of UX design. It represents effective collaboration between design and development teams from the early stages of a project. To better understand the overarching theory behind agile UX, let’s consider the main ideas of The Agile Manifesto:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
These ideas seem modern and progressive and promise to generate value, but as with most ideas, challenges arise when it comes to their implementation.
The most common reasons for friction on a project are differences of opinion, of background, and in the goals of different team members. To put this simply, team members usually talk in different languages. Developers talk code, functionality, and speed, while product designers talk design, ease of use, and user experience.
For agile UX to become a reality, product teams need to see eye to eye and understand that they have a common goal: creating and delivering an exceptional user experience. Sometimes, product teams get caught up in their own little world, forgetting that they are actually building products for people. In most organizations, user experience is an afterthought—a discipline that deals with aesthetics and high-level design.
In today’s world, UX professionals are hoping to bring down that notion and make it very clear that agile UX is more meaningful, impactful, and purposeful. The discipline of UX design is fundamental to the success of any online product or service and is responsible for things such as feature architectures, layouts, and microinteractions.
How Agile UX Can Revolutionize Your Business
Theories and principles are great, but what really matters is actionable advice. Let’s look at five ways in which agile UX can optimize your business.
1. Mitigating Risk
Reducing risk is one of the main principles of agile UX. Involving the development team earlier in the design process lets them share their input with you, as well as knowledge that could impact critical design decisions. Bridging the gap between design, development, and business goals immediately reduces a project’s risk and helps you avoid undesirable, unexpected results.
The main goal of agile UX is minimizing risk by validating ideas in the fastest, cheapest ways possible, without your team having to actually build the product. Mitigating risk helps your business
- trim the fat from a process that could cause internal friction
- align product teams on common goals
- promote collaboration over competition
- decrease risk factors in the product-development process
- build what your customers actually need