Re: Interaction designer in a Scrum team

Just posted a reply on the Scrum Developers Yahoo Group. Keeping up with that list would be more effort than becoming a certified scrum master.

What I am interested in is to find out how graphical and interaction designers can be eased into Scrum development.

In my previous team, our UX director, Bob Calvano, mixed in with the team: proposing UI elements in mockups but also pairing with developers to collaborate on implementations. The team and UX director shared decisions but the UX director retained authority over them.

Concept Drawing from BrainstormingThe team and product owner learned to defer to him on thorny questions of emotion, aesthetic and interaction particularly where the product owner had no clear sense of how the decision impacted tangible customer value.

The team had to learn how to deliver constructive feedback on UX. They had to learn how to express personal opinion in that context.

The UX director needed incredible patience taking in well and poorly delivered feedback. He had to understand his own process well enough to use day to day input to enable his own creativity rather than shut it down.

We evolved this relationship in a small team in an environment of high trust and we took months getting there. He came from a more traditional agency approach but he did have a personality suited to collaboration.

He eventually left our team to become an Interaction Design Director at one of the top agencies. He did so because the high profile of the work and pay were irresistible, so this experience didn’t hurt his career progression or his ability to work other ways. Though I know for a fact he misses that team and is returning to a smaller environment where he can recapture that collaborative experience.

thoughts from people who have read Jeff Patton’s book and what they think about how his ideas fit with Scrum.

Haven’t read the book yet. Talked to Jeff about his ideas at Agile 2007 (He was my adviser on my presentation on product ownership) and at the Fall Scrum Gathering.

High praise for his thinking on user experience as a precursor in product development (why) not simply as part of execution (what).

We tend to focus on story writing as the first tangible step agile plays in product conception. There are whole worlds of collaboration in terms of understanding who the software is for and how it solves problems for human beings that should come first.

Jeff Sutherland says the vast majority of teams run Scrums without real backlogs. How many of those few product owners that have backlogs derive systems and features from a user-centered perspective?

Hoping Jeff Patton will give us practices to tackle that problem.

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