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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.

  • Anita Mar 15, 2012 Reply

    Like the blog

    • Pamela Sep 30, 2012 Reply

      What I like about this post is that it gives parity to the vauiors types of thinking and encourages us to see Agile as part of a wider toolkit, rather than something that we do’ exclusively to the exclusion of all others. In doing this it discourages the tendency towards a dogmatic or ideological application of Agile’ It is all to easy to say to account for things by saying, It’s because we’re [doing] agile’ rather than giving a meaningful explanation forthe thinking behind our actions.One thing I think is missing is that key to the success of Agile is that Agile Thinking finds expression in tangible, pragmatic Agile Methods. To quote John Seddon Management is all about method’[1]Or in the words of Lou Reed Between thought and expression, lies a lifetime’[1] John Seddon: Systems Thinking in the Public Sector, Triachry Press 2008 p181

  • vichu Jun 1, 2012 Reply

    its very good

    • Courtney Sep 30, 2012 Reply

      There are two very interesting cpotencs in your post.Seeing agile thinking as a system rather than a technique inventedby geeks, and borrowing from other disciplines. I myself havelearnt solution to a lot of BA issues from Medical practitioners,civil engineers and professional negotiators from FBI to name afew. The fact that we as software community are not living in avaccum cube is a relalization which we need to achieve to be ableto build our community over the shoulder of other thinkers ratherthan reinventing everything naively. Thanks for the greatinspiration. Very well timed. I am reading a great book named thinking in systems by Donella h. Meadows.a0 I found theconcepts noted in the book as timeless.

  • BOy Sep 29, 2012 Reply

    说:Along with everything which seems to be bliidung within this subject material, a significant percentage of viewpoints are generally fairly refreshing. On the other hand, I appologize, but I do not subscribe to your whole plan, all be it radical none the less. It appears to everybody that your opinions are generally not totally rationalized and in actuality you are generally yourself not even completely certain of the point. In any case I did appreciate looking at it.

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