Wednesday, July 24, 2024
InícioUSER EXPERIENCEHow did I bring UX into my Agile product team?

How did I bring UX into my Agile product team?

Photo by Jan Tinneberg on UnsplashDisclaimer: This article has been sitting in my drafts for 4 years.. Wow! I completely forgot about it until I saw it today and immediately decided to publish it. I mean, why not?

Recently, due to my urge to learn more about UX Design and thanks to my employer, I attended a virtual UX conference conducted by the Nielsen and Norman Group (NN/g). This conference made me realize that it is high time I brought my passion and my daily work together. Until this time, I had been working as a software developer by profession and as a UX Designer on my own, on personal projects. By attending this conference, I got encouraged to make my team see the need for user-centered design in product development and learned about ways to introduce the UX design process within the team.

Through this article, I would like to share some of my learnings and experiments with you. But, first, let me tell you briefly about the courses I attended.

Generating Big Ideas with Design Thinking:
This course was about understanding the process of Design Thinking with real-life examples. It made me understand why finding out the root cause of a problem is more important than thinking about a solution right away.Facilitating UX Workshops:
As the name suggests, this course was about understanding the different kinds of UX workshops, and how to better plan and conduct them.Being a UX Leader: Essential Skills for Any UX Practitioner:
This was my favorite course in this round. Apart from explaining the different hats, UX professionals might have to wear at certain times in their careers, it motivated me to introduce UX within my team, that it is never too late.Assessing UX Designs Using Proven Principles:
This course was a summary of different UX methods that can be used to analyze interfaces when it is hard to get users for testing your products.Lean UX and Agile:
This course turned out to be the most useful in my case as my team follows the Agile Scrum technology. It helped me understand many different ways in which UX and Agile can work together in unison.

Each course was better than the other and there were tons of things to learn about in each one of them.

Now, over to the key takeaways from the conference and how we brought them into our work procedure.

A common understanding about the need for UX Design:
A prepared a short presentation to bring my scrum team on board with the concept of user experience design and the importance of having the users in the product development cycle. My main emphasis was on bringing the designs to the users to get feedback as early as possible, instead of releasing completed, time-consuming features. I tried to put what I learned at the conference into our project perspective to make my point and make it more relatable for my teammates.Lean UX over Design Thinking Approach:
As mentioned earlier, I attended courses related to Design Thinking, which is a detailed iterative UX process for achieving a goal as well as Lean UX, which is a faster, less wastage kind of UX process. As UX was a very new concept for my team, I needed something that would show high-impact results in a short period of time and would go smoothly with our sprint by sprint way of working.Think about ‘why’:
Since the product is for use within the company, the potential users are easily reachable. The way we were initially working was that the product owner in coordination with the users would propose new features and we as developers would implement them into the product. But, mostly, the focus was on ‘what’ features and ‘how’ to develop them. We were missing the ‘why’ behind it. ‘Why is it that users are asking for something?’ ‘What is the concern that we are trying to address?’ ‘How are they doing it now?’ While attending the conference, this was another thing that kept coming back to me and I took it with me to my team.Start small:
In a big company, which has established standard ways of doing things, it is often hard to bring in any kind of change. We as an agile team had a pretty standard way of doing things and it would have been a major challenge to bring UX in its entirety, into the picture. For this reason, I was told during the conference, I proposed further and we decided together that it was better to start small and grow gradually while keeping the whole team on the same page. We decided to start off by doing one user story using the user-centered approach of research, prototyping, testing, and iterating, if necessary.Four years later, still doing UX and loving it. 🙂

Lovely readers, I would love to know how you got into UX if it wasn’t via the traditional route.