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Agile & User Experience

When User Experience Becomes Mission Critical

I am doing a user experience presentation at the Lima Tech conference (LRITA) tomorrow. Below is the description from the program. I will upload the slides afterwards, in the slight chance anyone wants to see them.

When User Experience Becomes Mission Critical

The role of CIOs and the focus for IT leaders is constantly evolving. In 2006, it was about Innovation, in 2009 is was about Collaboration, in 2011 it was Intelligence, in 2014 it was Customers. In 2015: Digital Transformation. Now in 2016, CIO priorities includes User Experience.

As the corporate IT mindset for User Experience evolves from "Don't care" to "Mission critical", there are many paths, steps, and options along the way. Keith will share stories and examples of how companies have made progress along their journey to mission critical user experiences.

Aspects of the journey include:

  • User interface design: from "lipstick on a pig" to guidelines and standards that improve usability, reduce costs, and increase business value
  • Requirements processes: from spreadsheets of features to priorities based on deep user insights
  • Project management: from waterfall management focused on cost-savings to agile & iterative design and development focused on quality, hypothesis-testing and user satisfaction
  • Governance: from chaos and technology-driven decision making to portfolios of projects based on user experience (and business value) benefits

Because the paths to mission critical user experiences will be different for each company, the session will be interactive, where you can ask questions to understand what other companies have done, and discuss what might work for your companies, based on where you are at in terms of UX maturity and what your goals are.

Outside-in Software Development

IBM Press has another good book out (on the heels of Do It Wrong Quickly).

My copy is still being shipped, so I have not looked at the book in detail. From what I have heard / read, the "outside-in / stakeholder" theme merges Agile methods (stakeholder = "Agile customer") and user experience methods (stakeholder = "end user"). "Consumability" and "Outside-in design" are key parts of the IBM Software strategy. (Consumability: making products easier to install, configure, deploy and maintain.)

To learn more about the book, you can see previews on Safari and read Carl's blog Outside-in Thinking [URL update on Nov-16-2007]. And of course,'s entry for the book (where I managed to buy a "used" copy that is new but very inexpensive, not sure how that works).

Agile interview

The parade of interviews continues - I love it. Last night was one about integrating user-centered design into Agile methods with David Fox, a student of Frank Maurer. I met Frank at CASCON where we did a workshop together on the human element of Agile.

Some of the things we talked about: lo/medium/high fidelity user experience work, how our Agile UX team is working with an Agile development team (and less-than-Agile) other teams, what tools would be valuable to get the UX work better integrated, and specifically on information architecture work and Agile.

Attending CASCON 2006

I will be attending CASCON in Toronto in the middle of October. An IBM-sponsored conference and a trip to my favorite Canadian city (home of the greatest hall of fame ever).

I am part of the Humane agile workshop and might help out with the Social computing workshop. Not sure if I will have time to attend any other sessions, but I hope I do.

If you are going and want to meet up with me, leave a comment here - I won't publish the comment but will contact you.

Here is my Technorati tag [] to get this added to the CASCON blog.

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.

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