The State of UX Agile Evolution
3 September 2020
3 September 2020
Agile product development is the process of creating products following Agile principles and techniques. It helps companies to overcome issues that traditional development methods cannot. For many enterprises, especially to UX designers, it is critical to managing the Agile environment.
The Nielsen Norman Group has directed research to determine the best practices for integrating UX methods with Agile development projects. The research was focused on the techniques successful UX practitioners used to support the Agile team.
Every organisation is different, and there is no one rule that can fit for all of them. But because of the flexibility of Agile principles, it can be generally adopted by the UX practitioners to work out in different contexts. Research suggests that around 22% of UX teams did not stick to the pure Agile approach and used a hybrid method to make things work.
Agile framework facilitates transparency and iteration, because of which issues are identified and solved sooner and faster. When applied thoughtfully, Agile development methods can result in both improved user experience and business value. Agile principles have saved months for many designers and developers by finding errors quickly, allowing them to make adjustments after each iteration.
Practice makes a man perfect. This proverb also applies to Agile methods. Organisations that have practiced Agile for years are getting highly effective results compared to the ones who have just started. So, set proper expectations, educate your clients, team members, and others on adopting Agile UX processes. Improvement will come gradually.
The research shows that 17% of the members of the product teams were UX professionals, which is more than it was before. This increase in investment in UX shows the importance of user experience in the business.
Every individual of a team needs to work closely with the responsibility to produce useful products. UX professionals need to work closely with product managers, discuss strategy, and prioritise work. They can provide useful data and help teams maintain a coherent vision for user interface architecture.
Many UX Agile teams prefer to run UX activities ahead of development sprints. This gives designers time to test their assumptions. Although now they are much more experienced and have a better collaborative understanding of what to expect.
The research found that, instead of waiting for product managers and stakeholders to make product requests, UX practitioners proactively reached out to the end-users to meet the user needs and stand out in the market. They also conducted generative and evaluative research to identify feature gaps and examine both long-term and short-term solutions.
Providing appropriate training and formalised process ensures that employees are familiar with established rules and minimise disruptive requests from management or outsiders.
Agile was originally founded as a method for programmers, but with time and broader use it is also becoming more useful for other professionals such as UX practitioners. With UX Agile the modern-software development environment has changed. The role of UX has expanded to leadership and communication.
From a set of principles of software development, Agile has evolved to be an ideal environment for the success of many industries. With proactive UX practitioners and involved team members, Agile UX can turn the user needs into business needs for the sake of stakeholders.