UX: Responsive Design, Agile, Process – The Battle with Legacy Baggage
Brad’s The Post-PSD Era posting generated a lot of interesting comments. Overall, I think that UX in some organization is struggling with change – change due to baggage associated with how the information architects and designers have historically worked, and the tooling they have come to rely on.
Lets start with agile. Smashing Magazine has a number of interesting articles around agile – Fitting Big-Picture UX Into Agile Development offers some interesting views. Likewise UX Matters offers Is UX Strategy Fundamentally Incompatible with Agile or Lean UX? and When Agile and User Experience Click. Net out is that UX really has to be made to work with Agile, since today the only sensible way to develop software applications is from following an agile process. Big design up front prior to development leveraging Sketches and Wire Frames (WF) in my view almost always leads to issues being found in development due to design’s not quite working 100%, or client finally having a working application and realizing that due to incomplete prototyping/user testing/or whatever, the original design the client “approved” wasn’t actually what they wanted.
Today in code, its not uncommon to see code spikes during an agile project to test certain ideas/patterns/frameworks prior to building the final solution. In the UX space, as referenced in the articles above, design spikes should be expected.
Client design “approval” was raised in the Post-PSD Era comments. This “process” may need to re-evaluated on certain types of projects as it can sometimes be constraining to the overall delivery of the clients solution and thus the agility of a team.
David’s recent posting on Gloople: Responsive Design Review raising further thoughts around the UX process and PSD’s – particularly the reasoning to capture and “approve” how a design will respond in a static tool – Photoshop. It’s interesting to see David reference Compass – who used Compass at Gloople? Designers/Developers/both?
So the net out of my rambling is that UX has a toolbox fully of useful items – pencil, paper, Photoshop, prototyping applications, etc. For each project UX need to think about breaking the shackles they have previously be used to, and consider new way of delivering responsive solutions to clients.