Bringing It Together: Three Approaches to Combine Agile Software Development and Human-Centered Design
Nowadays, many software companies rely on a development process that includes both, an agile implementation of technical functionalities and a human-centered design approach for finding the right interaction concept. However, in practice, these two approaches do not easily fit together: Human-centered activities need much time before and during implementation. Early user tests might yield “unfavorable” results, such as the need for revising a technically correct operating functionality due to usability problems. In consequence, this leads to ad hoc prioritizations, asynchronous iterations, and communication problems between team members. Therefore, in practice, a strong need exists to find an appropriate way to combine agile development and human-centered design activities. In this contribution, three kinds of possible approaches are presented: One sprint ahead, dual task development, and integrative approaches. These approaches will be discussed with respect to their strengths and weaknesses. Task integration is considered to be particularly promising in order to improve communication through interdisciplinary cooperation and to develop innovative, user-friendly design solutions.
KeywordsUsability User experience User-centered design Agile development Sprint zero One sprint ahead Lean UX
This work has been supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of the project “Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Usability” (Förderkennzeichen: 01MF17013C).
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