Agile Design #UserExperience

Laura Klein at the Interaction Design Foundation posted a very interesting post on Designing the Smallest Possible Thing. Klein makes a well articulated exposition of why and how designers in agile teams should focus on designing smarter (or less) rather than designing faster.

There was a point Klein made that feels to me the core issue why it’s so hard to do as the post suggests: When designers don’t get to iterate on shipped designs they try to make the first version as perfect as possible. This has been very true for most of the projects I’ve worked on. The few cases were we get to redesign screens are when new features involve rethinking the interface, or when there is an explicit complaint by a high level customer.

If we look at the “Interaction Design Process” there is usually an arrow in the opposite direction of all the other arrows. The fact that it runs in the opposite direction does not mean we need to regress. If we chart the quality of a product, it’s this backwards arrow that allows the chart to keep growing. If we don’t do it the product stagnates.

Once we start iterating more, we’ll naturally feel less pressured to “ship” perfect solutions and we’ll rely more on people’s feedback and delivered value to improve the product.