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Design and User Experience in an Agile Process

2:25pm Friday, 09/19/2008
Topic: Design & UX
Location: 1A21 & 22

The hallmark of the agile process is its short release schedule. Developers on a project might spend two weeks adding onto a product, release it, and then move into another two week iteration before another release. This yields efficient development, with little wasted effort and a great opportunity to adapt to change throughout the development process.

For designers and user experience architects, the process might not seem as efficient. Often, a design team will spend weeks creating the design for a project, only to see the fruits of their labor adversely affected as the developers take the design into their own hands as requirements and interfaces change.

This talk presents a methodology for ensuring that an agile project maintains its design and user experience integrity throughout the project. This happens by staggering the involvement of every aspect of the team, with user experience and design teams working on the third iteration, for example, while the development team works on the second iteration. At all points, everyone on the team is in a position to innovate for future iterations as well as learn from the outcome of past iterations.

With a carefully crafted process integrating agile user experience planning, agile design, as well as agile development processes, a project team can ensure that the results are well-designed while still maintaining all the advantages of traditional agile development.

Photo of M. Jackson Wilkinson

M. Jackson Wilkinson

Viget Labs

Over a decade of working on the web as both a designer and developer has given Jackson crucial background to bring to his role as User Experience Strategist, in which he helps both start-ups and traditional businesses create engaging and pleasurable experiences for their users online. Jackson has worked with a diverse set of clients, ranging from WalMart and Microsoft to the pending re-launch of Odeo.com to the Government of Canada to non-profits like the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Jackson is a regular speaker on topics relating to user experience and design process both locally and abroad and, as lead organizer of Refresh DC, the DC Talks Series, and BarCampDC, is one of the leading cultivators of the booming Washington web community. Jackson earned an A.B. cum laude in Philosophy and Music from Bowdoin College.