Usability Investigations and Agile User-Centered Design

User interface (UI) design is often a neglected aspect of Agile software development and there are not a lot of article talking about the integration of UI experts in Scrum team. In this article, Desirée Sy provides the real life lessons on how user-centered design (UCD) practices were adapted to an Agile development process.

Their interface design work was based on data gathered from contextual investigations to guide rapid iterations of prototypes, validated by formative usability testing. Going Agile, they needed to find a way to conduct usability tests, interviews, etc within iterations. To achieve this, they adjusted the timing and granularity of these investigations and the way that they reported our usability findings.

The user interface experts preferred Agile user- centered design for the following reasons:
* More of the product is designed than before.
* Usability investigations are conducted throughout the entire product release life cycle, rather just at the beginning of a release.
* The most important designs are worked on first and there is no effort wasted writing unused designs.
* Product changes suggested by usability testing of current product can be implemented in the current release.

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