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Why UX is struggling with agile 💥 | Grab a Coffee ☕️ #14

Grab a Coffee ☕️
Sooner or later, everyone who works in the tech industry comes across the term agile. Some years ago, I already dealt with different agile methods, read about them, compared them and partly tried them out. No matter in which position I worked, some things worked for me or my team and some didn’t.
Just like this learning process, agile is a process that has to evolve and UX has to find its role in it.
For User Experience finding its role in it, there are certainly many different approaches.
Today I would like to introduce you to my approach to agile and UX and hope that you can take away a few tips for your everyday work.

🤓 What's agile?
The word agile occurs in many different contexts and areas of our lives but basically means to move with ease and speed. However, agile became a buzzword during the last years.
Agile frameworks are a set processes for mostly digital work environments and try to enable teams to work faster together. This idea is not really new and the principles of agile are captured in the agile manifesto.
There are many different agile frameworks nowadays, and some of the most common ones are:
All these and a lot of other agile frameworks have some things in common, some things they differentiate from each other, and each one has its own pros and cons.
If you want to work in an agile way, it’s not wise to stick to one framework and use it just for the sake of using it. Try out new things, adopt processes, let other things out and tailor your own and your teams’ working style to your exact needs. That’s the only way it will work in the long run.
🥷 Sprints and samurais
Some agile methods, like Scrum, work with sprints. Sprints are repetitive cycles with a length between 1-4 weeks during which a team works on certain tasks.
There are things like sprint points, the scope of sprints, sprint planning meetings and retrospectives. How this all could work in certain frameworks would take longer than our cup of coffee, so I encourage you to get your hands dirty and read a bit about agile processes. A good start is The Agile Samurai by Jonathan Rasmusson. It’s a great way to learn about the agile way of working also as a non-technical person. 😊
The Agile Samurai
👩‍💻 UX in agile teams
As the sprint is the time when developers work on tasks and bring them to (coded) life, your work as a designer should happen upfront. But how to do this? These three steps will help you to organize your work in agile teams most effectively:
Use the backlog
In an agile environment untouched tasks normally can be found in the backlog. The order of the tasks in there is prioritized regarding the need to work on them. In this way you’ll exactly know which tasks will be handled next and therefore work on these topics next.
Do great design hand-offs
Use meetings like the sprint planning as one more option to discuss your designs with the team and prepare for these with a good hand-off. Highlight special things developers need to know or indicate what is different on elements as they would work usually. Also care for a good documentation in your Figma files by using plugins like Measure to make it easy for developers to see all the necessary information.
Keep involved in team’s work
Don’t just hand over your designs at the hand-off and think that you’re done. Answer questions, correct ambiguities, and participate in testing. Development is a collaborative task and team work.
🏁 That's all for today
I hope you got a good overview of agile methods and now know have an idea how agile frameworks and UX can work together. I am curious what your experiences are with agile, please get in touch with me. 😃
Thank you so much for reading so far and I hope you learned something new. Because that’s the goal I want to achieve: sharing with others to grow together. 🚀
If you would like to support my work and by that help other people to find their way into the UX/UI industry, you can support my mission by buying me a coffee here. ☕️
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See you next week with new topics and an amazingly good cup of coffee. ☕️
Marina 👋
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Marina @marina_kdot

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