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Monthly Archives: June 2012

AgileHeads Wrong for UX

Liz Hubert wrote a blogpost on the bad role misunderstood Agile plays in a product development and in fact, why it’s wrong for User Experience (both as an outcome of UX Designer work – the product and as a community of UX Designers).

This is a subject that I tried to address several times (including humble manifesto – Design Centered Organization) and it still troubles me a lot. I used to work in Agile teams in large organization as well as at UXPin, where we use elements of Agile to work efficiently. Still I’m far from loving the Agile movement. Why?

I’ve seen misunderstood Agile spoiling whole organizations transforming them into „developers-driven” companies that were constantly unable to ship efficient products.

Wait a minute… is it really Agile’s fault? Let see what the Manifesto says:

„We are uncovering better ways of developing

software by doing it and helping others do it.

Through this work we have come to value:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

  • Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on
the right,
we value the items on the left more.”

What we have here is a call to creation of well-working teams that are encouraged to work together and focus on shipping code rather than creating volumes of documentation. What’s more Agile Manifesto suggest that teams suppose to adapt to changes in environment.

Now, isn’t it just lovely?

By reading the Manifesto, I love Agile. At UXPin we wholeheartedly believe in power of collaboration in the design process. In fact we created UXPin to support collaboration of people with different backgrounds and perspectives (oh yes – UX designers, Visual designers and developers should work together!).

So why the hell I’ve seen so many malfunctioning Agile teams? Well, it’s not because of Agile itself, dear friends. It’s because of people that I like to call AgileHeads.

AgileHeads don’t understand the Manifesto and, as Liz pointed, they believe that developers can create stunning products themselves. I suppose AgileHeads are scared of new times in which not only technology matters. Times when design plays crucial role, arm in arm with marketing.

AgileHeads confuse software development with product development (as Liz greatly stated) and by that, they are causing great harm to the Agile movement.

Why? Because Agile is mainly about three things:

  1. Collaboration,
  2. Flexibility,
  3. Creation;

When AgileHeads create „Us vs them” tension („We don’t need any UX Designers! My devs have seen some interfaces in the past and they certainly know how to design” – actual quote from one of disrespectful AgileHeads I met) they’re breaking the rule number one. They destroy chemistry inside the team and prevent people from working together.

When they don’t see place for UX design in their process, they are breaking rule number two. AgileHeads are not flexible! Times have changed, accept that and create something of value.

When they focus only on coding and shipping the code – they’re breaking rule number three. They are not focused on creation of something usable. They’re focused on maintaining their position in the organization. Is as unusable as ten volumes of complex documentation.

Wrap up: If we will treat AgileHeads as we treat internet trolls (ignore!), Agile and User Experience Design can coexist together. In fact, I believe the combination of UX focused on users and Agile focused on collaboration and flexibility is a great foundation of effective Product Development.

Liz – thank you. Your post was needed.

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Demonstrate Your Process and Design Epic User Experience

“This is decade of User Experience Design”, we’ve heard that many times during meetings with inspiring people such as Dave McClure, Paul Singh, Hiten Shah, Brandon Schauer… The questions is though how to accelerate the good design. Most appropriate answer: by teaching people how to design.

Who supposes to teach them?

You do.

Start with your teammates – demonstrate the design process, engage them in it, facilitate communication during the design phase and beyond.

And now there’s an app for that. The User Experience App that will let you collaborate with your team and show them your design process.

Ladies and gentlemen, new UXPin is here to help you create amazing products together with your people. Say goodbye to the old toys.

There are couple of tools on the market that we, User Experience Designers, use to create wireframes and prototypes, but they are not very helpful in the whole design process. Wireframes are just one, hardly complete, way to communicate design. We decided to do much more with new version of our UXPin App.

UXPin User Experience Design App

New UXPin can be characterized by three traits:

  • Presentation of whole design process
  • Agile-like iterations and version control
  • Ability to collaborate with teammates throughout whole design process

Thanks to presentation of the design process developers, managers, clients and stakeholders will finally see what User Experience Design is all about. It’ll help them understand the design. Therefore UXPin is about to be educational tool for everyone that cares about design.

UXPin User Experience Design App

New UXPin allows to create not only wireframes but also any other popular design documents in the process (Personas, Business Model Canvas, Project Canvas – templates are included!). It will help so much to communicate design ideas to clients and team members. What’s more clients will be able to easily comment on every piece of a design process without need of having an account.

What’s more, thanks to advanced collaboration features, in the new UXPin App, every member of a team will be able to comment, review and edit artifacts created in the design process.

UXPin The User Experience Design App

Designers are also granted with ability to arrange their work during design process into consistent stories. Nothing will be lost in the process anymore! Organizations using UXPin, will be able to gather whole their design knowledge and experiences in one place and actually use it in the future.

Ability to create iterations of the design work and controlling versions of all the documents, gives UXPin position of the only tool on the market that fits into Agile style of work.

Sign up now!

14 day trial for new users. Plans from $7 per month!

Ps. Don’t forget to buy our famous paper prototyping notepads :)

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UXPin voted the best startup in Central & Eastern Europe

You wouldn’t believe how surprised we were at the end of April in huge conference room at Ergo Arena in Gdansk. We thought UXPin is way too hermetic, rooted in the design world, to get any serious awards.

Suddenly hosts shouted our company name: „The winner is UXPin!!!” and jaw-dropped or not we’ve been asked to come on stage. By votes of Paul Bragiel, Alex Barrea, Sitar Teli, Jon Bradford, Carlos Eduardo Espinal and respected polish mentors, we’ve been choosen the best startup in Central & Eastern Europe.

It couldn’t happened without you all dear friends. We create UXPin for you.

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