Monday, October 19, 2009

UI design and scrum

I've been during last week to the Scandinavian Agile conference in Helsinki and there I was really interested in a session called "Combining UI design and scrum", as the topic is quite hot and I still haven't see a good way for doing that.

First of all, I should mention that I've been really disappointed by that session. Overall, it had the feeling of a pure marketing session as it didn't explain at all the GUIDe methodologies used there (just a slide with a link and comment like "go read it yourself") but the focus was mostly on "see? we can do this, we have already done this, if you need this call us".

The second biggest disappointment came from the fact that the session was more about "separating UI design from scrum" than combining them, stating things like "only a UI design expert should to the UI design without involving the development team" and "in the product backlog you should put feature, not user stories as user stories are a problem and in the backlog you want to have solutions". What I got from the session is that the speaker's idea is that customer and UI designer should talk in order to have the UI designer fully finalize the UI and then hand it over to the development team, that should start implementing feature-by-feature starting from a mock-up.

While I think having a full UI mock-up ready before starting developing a product is a good thing (even PatientKeeper does that) I don't like the hand over part that what has been described in the session involves. In my opinion the development team (or at least part of it) should work together with the UI design expert and in that way get the knowledge on the product that the mock-up itself doesn't bring. I've never done that myself to that extent but I'm really interested if someone has at least tried and what were the outcome. So, if you've done that and want to share your experience please contact me, or, if you're in the Helsinki area, join one of the agile dinners!


Mattias said...


What I missed out in an handover is the learning, as a developer - "why is this good UI.." , as a designer to learn "..why can't the idea be implemented well enough.."

The Geeks said...

hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :)

Alexia Marthoon said...

An agile process tends to focus on iterations, and client feedback, to allow for the inevitability of changing requirements whereas a waterfall process tries to define all requirements up front, and tends to be inflexible to changing requirements. You can learn more about agile and scrum by referring to some free resources ( provided by scrumstudy or by attending any agile scrum certification courses. I would personally suggest Agile Expert Certified course or a Scrum Master Certification to you.