Agile has a relatively short history in the broader view of software development. Integration of User Experience into Agile has an even shorter history with relatively few stories of overwhelming success. Over the last eighteen months, we at TheLadders have had some successes—and some failures—in our foray into a post-waterfall way of developing elegant, efficient and sophisticated consumer-facing software. This is our story.
Traditional, heavyweight development methodologies can be very effective at solving well‑defined problems, where the person solving the problem has a clear understanding of the initial and goal states, the available options, and the constraints on the problem. At the opposite end of the spectrum are ill‑defined, so-called wicked problems. When it’s necessary to balance numerous, often‑conflicting factors, traditional development methodologies are much less effective.
Teams moving to agile often struggle to integrate agile with best practices in user-centered design (UCD) and user experience (UX) in general. Fortunately, using a UX Integration Matrix helps integrate UX and agile by including UX information and requirements right in the product backlog. While both agile and UX methods share some best practices—like iteration and defining requirements based on stories about users—agile and UX methods evolved for different purposes, supporting different values.
Agile software development is a method in which software is designed, examined and delivered to the market swiftly, so that end-users can provide feedback and more feature changes can be made and adjusted within a few months time, rather than once or twice a year. But look at the Agile description again: minimal planning, small changes, releases every 1-2 months. That allows for feature by feature adjustments, not a total redesign of the workflow, layout, navigation systems, etc.
The Kano model is both a precious User Centered Design tool and a precious decision-making aid tool. The Kano model seeks to connect requirements (response to needs, product attributes) and customer satisfaction, and classifies 3 types of requirements, that will influence the final customer satisfaction.