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Synergy: Agile and User Experience Design

Scott Ambler, Practice Leader for Agile Development at IBM Rational, has a new article in Dr. Dobb's Journal: "Bridging the Gap: Agile Software Development and Usability". In it Ambler takes a look at issues related to usability, interaction design, user-centered design and usage-centered design techniques. 

Ambler believes that User Experience Design (UED) is critical to the success of agile software development techniques, because it increases a team's chances of building the right software to meet customers' real goals.  This article describes how Agile and UED communities can work together closely for project success. "The key is to make UED practices usable to agile software developers, and to do that they must reflect the realities of the agile lifecycle."  Towards this end, Scott recommends:

   1.  Doing some UI modeling up front.
   2. Using modeling tools, which reflect agile practices.
   3. Modeling a bit ahead when appropriate.
   4. Doing the majority of UI development on a JIT basis.
   5. Adopt UED-friendly requirements artifacts.
   6. Embed UED practitioners on agile projects.

Update, July30 2006: A more comprehensive discussion of this issue is presented on the Agile Modeling site.

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