How Do UX Practices Fit with Agile Development Practices?
Nov 18, 2021
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How Do UX Practices Fit with Agile Development Practices?

In web professions, UX design or User Experience is a user-centred approach that aims to optimize the communication between the user and the interface of a site, application, or software.

The goal of UX design is to make the user experience smoother and more intelligible through an efficient product that perfectly meets their needs.

From the perspective of creating a product that respects the terms of the contract with the client, agile project management methods are revolutionizing the world of digital product design. They aim to optimize design methods to make them faster and more optimal.

So, to satisfy both customers and users, it is relevant to integrate the Agile spirit into a UX approach.

An overview of the user experience (UX)

Ux design is a user-centered approach that considers their needs to align their experience with their expectations.

UX design takes into account the user's emotions when interacting with a digital interface. However, to offer a service that meets its aspirations, this approach bypasses all aspects of the project: emotional, ergonomic, technical, and user testing.

The principles of UX design

The ultimate goal of UX Design is to provide an optimal user experience through an easily accessible, user-friendly user interface and smooth, user-friendly navigation. To achieve this, we follow an approach that includes these steps:

UX research: consists of gathering as much information (qualitative and quantitative) as possible about the target user. These data allow us to understand their profile better and identify their needs and frustrations. This is done through interviews, questionnaires, user tests on similar products, etc.

Ideation: Once we have all the necessary data regarding the user profile, the UX team can move on to the ideation stage. This phase is very crucial in the UX design process.

Ideation is part of an iterative cycle of applying collaborative innovation methods in ideation sessions or UX co-design workshops.

These workshops bring together all the stakeholders of the project to foster the generation of ideas and strengthen the creative potential of the UX team.

The ideation sessions result in a clearer vision of the problem identified during the UX research phase and the most suitable solutions. All to create a more efficient user interface, which offers a fluid UX user journey that meets the expectations of the target.

Design: the ideation stage prepares the ground for getting started in the creation of user interfaces. Based on the data from this step, UX Designer can design the wireframes and prototypes required to provide easy interaction, smooth navigation, consistent content prioritization, and a friendly user interface.

The UX approach requires taking time to carry out the necessary studies and tests before realizing it.

So, to optimize the project's development time, it is necessary to integrate the Agile spirit into the UX approach.

An overview of the Agile approach

The Agile approach represents an appropriate project management method. It is a holistic approach that considers the needs of the clients and the various constraints of the project. There are several agile methods:

Scrum,
Crystal,
Dynamic Systems,
Feature Driven Development (FDD), etc.

The Agile paradigm makes it possible to perfect the design cycle to shorten its execution time and develop the project within the agreed timeframe.

Traditional project management methods follow a monotonous and rigid approach which consists of establishing a contract between the client and the service provider. This document is mainly concerned with respecting the delivery time.

Agile project management is based on incremental design and continuous iteration to evolve more flexibly in the project. This helps the UX team to work more efficiently and act appropriately in the face of technical contingencies.

The principles of the Agile approach

  • The Agile approach essentially advocates these principles:
Highlight the user and his interactions and prioritize them concerning the processes and technical means used in the project.
Focus on the efficiency and usability of the service or product to be developed.
keep regular contact with the client
Strengthen the capacity to reinvent oneself to adapt to changes and not to dictate the course of evolution.

The Main Advantages of Working in an Agile Way

By adopting the Agile approach, the team working on the project acts more strategically while breaking the project into short lead times (or sprints) of a few weeks. It is about working on deliverables that will be improved and optimized incrementally, according to the client's needs.

To do this, we organize regular meetings with the client to assess the deliverable (or minimum viable product: MVP), test it, and validate it. The minimum viable product allows the customer and the service provider to be united in the decisions regarding the next step to be taken. In addition, it promotes a better understanding between these two parties.

Working in an Agile spirit strengthens cohesion and facilitates communication between team members: project managers, developers, UX designers, etc.

Since the UX and the Agile current share certain undeniable advantages, such as multidisciplinarity, iteration, and incremental, combining these two concepts to benefit from their positive feedback on the project development cycle is fascinating. And the quality of the final service.