Many of us UX designers are familiar with “Agile” Development environment, which enable many quick turnovers in the evolution of software/app/web development, to pursue better quality of product. The goal of Agile is somewhat similar to UX design, “test, get feedback, make the product better”.
However, in terms of execution, an Agile Development environment can be sometimes hard for an UX professional to fit in and introduce UX process to the development team. Why is it hard? “Time is my greatest enemy.” -Evita Peron. Agile Development’s fast turnover nature often offers little time for most of the basic UX design process.
One of the essential spirit of Agile Development is “GOOB” – Getting Out of the Building, which means quickly wrap up a product release and send it to the market, to gather user feedback for the next release of the updated product. That said, this “Agile” spirit is embedded in the PM’s head, which often leads to a constant urge of creating a short time frame for the next product release. While most of the basic UX research and analysis process, the short time frame gives UX professional a tough challenge to complete the important foundation work.
I recently read the blog post: “Agile UX vs Lean UX – How they’re different and why it matters for UX designers”, it proposed this idea of Lean UX which seems to has its value at the first glance. It looks like a compromise between UX and Agile Development, which can be a useful way to convince PM to conduct a little UX process without delaying the expected product launch schedule. However, the compromising UX process which so called Lean UX will probably lose a lot of the essentials of UX value. Moreover, in my eyes, rather than Lean UX, I would rather call this compromised process as “Agile with a bit of UX taste”. UX is much more than getting user feedback from using an existing product.
We know a facelift of the product might be able to bring customers a refreshing feeling, but what’s hard for to refresh is user’s memory, memory of bad user experience toward a product, a service, a brand. Moreover, once the user has bad experience toward a product, s/he might not even come back! F. Scott. Fitzgerald said: “There are no second acts in American lives”, The product with poor user experience might not even get that second chance.
In sum, it is our job as UX professionals to advocate the value of UX, especially for our team member who doesn’t quite understand why UX research is so important in the early stage (1-10-100 rule is a good reference to begin with ). It is our responsibility to sit down with product owner, project manager, and other main player in management level to adopt UX process early in the road map, and this process should not be defeated merely by the intention of adopting Agile Development.