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UPA conference

I made it to Denver this morning (6th airport in the last 5 days) and am looking forward to the UPA conference.

First, I will be learning more about World Usability Day 2006 - November 14th - check out the new website for it. For those of you in northwest Ohio - start thinking about what you want to do for World Usability Day this year. Last year I was in San Francisco - this year I will be home and looking for help to organize something locally.

Second, I will get to hang out with more IBMers - lunch on Wednesday if nothing else. Often the easiest way to find out what my colleagues are doing is to spot them "on the outside". IBM is too big.

Of course, I will also be attending a few days of the conference. My two must-sees: interaction design / agile and the panel on the state of web site usability (I was on a MIUPA / local version of this panel a few years ago). Other sessions: too hard to decide.

Finally, look for me up on stage. I get 15 seconds of "fame" this time, which will be related to something I am very proud of: serving my profession.


I'm happy to see that my presentation was one of your "must-sees". Did it give you the information that you expected?

Lynn - yes, your presentation was very good. My notes / questions / comments after looking back after a few weeks:

  • Agile "customer" is the same as the User experience lead (in IBM user engineering lingo)
  • "Sprint zero" corresponds to the various "kick-off" phases in waterfall models, but it is shorter and not as complete. But it is important to have something deeper to set goals. Key is that people realize the goals will / should change during iteration.
  • Question (not sure what the answer is): Does this only work for new product development (with clear "project" boundaries) or can it be used for "business as usual" work?
  • Challenges with teams that are not co-located: will this methodology ever work with distributed teams? Will there be tools to make this easier?
  • "The design team" is actually working in four cycles at the same time, from what I can tell. Current cycle minus one: evaluating the system as-is to see if new stories are needed to "fix usability bugs". Current cycle: being the customer, working closely with the developers. Current cycle plus one: User interface design work for upcoming stories, since the UI needs to be at least a little fleshed out before the developers can really tackle them. Current cycle plus two: "User research" on what future stories are going to be needed.

Folks should also check out your paper at Agile 2005 - Case Study of Customer Input for a Successful Product (PDF, 200K).

Is your presentation from the UPA conference available online? I have the version in the CD-ROM proceedings, but where can others get a copy?