Monday, April 09, 2007

Introduction to Agile Usability, User Experience Activities on Agile Development Projects - Part I

A good introduction to Agile Usability ...

"To address the challenges faced by software developers an initial group of 17 methodologists formed the Agile Software Development Alliance, often referred to simply as the Agile Alliance, in February of 2001. An interesting thing about this group is that they all came from different backgrounds, yet were able to come to an agreement on issues that methodologists typically don’t agree upon. This group of people defined a manifesto which defines 4 values and 12 principles for encouraging better ways of developing software; this manifesto defines the criteria for ASD processes.

Just as the Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI) defines the requirements for a heavy-weight software development process, the agile manifesto defines the requirements for an agile software process. Agile processes which reflect these requirements include:

• Agile Data (AD)
• Agile Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF)
• Agile Modeling (AM)
• Agile Unified Process (AUP)
• Dynamic System Development Method (DSDM)
• Extreme Programming (XP)
• Feature Driven Development (FDD)
• Scrum
• Usage-Centered Design (UCD)

The vast majority of agile projects are teams of less than ten people, are co-located, have direct access to stakeholders, have access to inclusive modeling tools such as whiteboards and corkboards, have their own development machines, and have access to the development tools that they require, including testing tools. Having said that, some agile teams are very large (upwards of several hundred people), some are dispersed geographically, and some do not always have easy access to stakeholders (Eckstein 2004). Although most agile teams take an test-driven development (TDD) approach where they write a unit test before writing just enough production code to fulfill that unit test, they typically do not have access to UI testing tools. Furthermore, they rarely have access to a usability lab, so in this respect agile is little different than traditional development.
Figure 1 depicts my rendition of a generic agile SDLC, which is comprised of four phases: Iteration 0, Development, Release, and Production. Although many agile developers may balk at the idea of phases, the fact is that it’s been recognized that processes such as XP, AUP, and Agile MSF (which calls phases “tracks” instead) do in fact have phases."    (Continued via uiGarden.net)    [Usability Resources]

Phases of Agile Usability- Usability, User Interface Design

Phases of Agile Usability

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