Tuesday, March 16, 2010

There's Agile Programming, Management, but nothing about the UX

Or: Tackling the Agile User Experience

Agile is all about
developing software that 'works', and is
  1. What the user needs
  2. What the client wanted
  3. What the developer team is proud of.
There's one 'small' part of the whole process that has constantly been neglected.
The User Experience.

Long ago, I worked at IBM Scientific Labs (in Haifa) and heard of the The Three ive's:
I learned that software should be:
  • Attractive
  • Intuitive
  • Interactive

I learned that one should be able to use software "out of the box" without reading any manuals, and without double checking long help messages on the screen.
Nobody reads the warnings, unless they are a debugging message, and you are a programmer, but even then, you don't enjoy it.

SO... Why is all Agile Management Software, sold on the market at full price, with a crappy static interface, with non-intuitive setup screens, and non-exciting user screens?

Why isn't the software showing me the simplest options, and hiding anything useless at this stage? As an example: If I have only one company, why do they show me a category called "companies" and force me to enter my single company under that?

This is not a rant. This is the first in a series of articles on a new paradigm in Extreme Programming aka Agile Programming: Tackling the User Experience.

This new methodology will be similar to the TDD (Test Driven Development) methodology developed for code programming, but will include various practices, rules and tests. I'm not focusing on the 'fancy' part of the pages (skinning, animations etc) - although that too will be part of what is looked at, but rather about the screen flow, what is and what is not shown at each stage, and the dynamics of the application user experience (what was once called User Interface or UI).

Join me in defining this new Agile Expansion paradigm!
Let's tackle the UX in an agile way.

Moshe Flam aka Pashute

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