“It’s very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better.”—Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer, Apple
Deciding on the right product-development process for your team can often be a paradox. Maintaining balance amidst a proliferation of inconsistencies in product requirements and development outcomes is challenging for both large and mid-sized organizations —especially when teams lack any metrics to measure their impact on a release.
Friction arises when there is a mismatch between the user’s mental model and product features. When a development team finds itself in an untenable situation, the blame game begins. But as Mad Men’s Don Draper often said, “Move forward.” Read More
Agile development has recently captured the imagination of many software development teams—and with good reason: its focus on producing working software quickly is well suited to today’s fast-paced markets. But how do you go about combining agile with user-centered design (UCD) so you can enjoy the benefits of both approaches? On the face of it, they should work well together because both philosophies are iterative, incorporating testing with users and refinement. But in practice, they often conflict with one another.
An agile approach such as Scrum tries to minimize up-front planning in favor of producing working code quickly. Plus, agile generally prefers in-situ workshops for gathering requirements, while UCD largely favors up-front user research. Agile also uses working software as its primary measure of progress, while UCD focuses on whether users can easily achieve their goals—with or without software. To add to these discrepancies, because agile is typically led by developers, while UX professionals usually drive UCD, the differences between these two approaches can result in political conflicts in many companies. Read More
This is a sample chapter from the 4th Edition of About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design, by Alan Cooper, Robert Reimann, David Cronin, and Christopher Noessel.
Chapter 6: Creative Teamwork
In the Introduction to this book, we described the Goal-Directed method as consisting of three p’s: principles, patterns, and processes. However, there’s a fourth p worth mentioning—practices. This book mostly concerns itself with the first three, but in this chapter we’d like to share a few thoughts about the practice of Goal-Directed design and how design teams integrate into the larger product team. Read More