UX in Agile. A bumpy pitted road.

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I’ve been on this journey for about 8 months and it’s been an interesting one.

My family’s life in a pod and my car, then a jump to the other side of the country.  My professional self, going from working within strategy teams and overseeing full-scale projects, to shifting into an integrated role within a mid-sized agile environment, being part of a small UX team, assigned at the core to 2 agile ‘squads’.  The mental shift has been rough.  I’ve been overwhelmed, disoriented, and trying very-very hard to maintain perspective while still being able to focus.  Oh yes – and to retain patience.

Read on to hear a tiny bit about me struggling with Lean UX practices, Agile and Collaborative design.

A great example of the discovery process to design

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When talking with someone who is interested in having me as their designer, some of the first things that I do is ask a million questions about the intent and the business that the design is to be representing.  Quite often, the person (or people) that I’m talking with don’t quite have a vision of everything that they need and/or want and that’s when the questions become fairly deeply digging to determine not only the “what” but everything that has to do with the design.

About 2 years ago, I went through this with the company that I am still working for when they decided to switch the software that their IT Servicedesk reps used on a daily basis to log their service requests.  Though the company had a fairly good handle on what the business needed, they didn’t quite have everything nailed down and that was where I was brought in to assist with the layout of the screens.  They’re not really “pretty” as the software that they chose isn’t really capable of anything remotely close to pretty, but the entire workflow  prioritization was discovered as were many other elements that were previously not possible with the old software that now, 2 years later, are still in place and used hundreds of time on a daily basis for the location of quick information while also providing the functionality for call logging and tracking.

This same process is discussed  in the link below – its a pretty well written article on the process that they went through with their client.  If you’re interested in reading just what goes into the discovery process of design, this would be a great article to read.