Experience Design in an Agile World

A recent Nielsen Norman Group study found that organizations that have adopted an agile development process are more proficient in execution but some have abandon research and design best practices and degrade their customer experience.

Unfortunately, the study found, that most organizations following the agile development process didn’t include research on a consistent basis, if at all. The study cited tight deadlines and staffing shortages as reasons for deficiencies in human-centered activities.

Skipping research is extremely risky. Even the best design ideas are just assumptions. There are limits to even the smartest domain expert’s knowledge and best experience designer’s ideas. Research and iterative design reviews with our target customer allows us to test our assumptions and prevents cognitive bias from taking over and leading us astray.

If you find yourself in one of these organizations that have sacrificed research and design best practices as a part of adopting an agile development process then you may want to help them realize that agile is a development process – not a design process. When determining, developing, and delivering a great experience for your customers, you must follow a customer-centric approach or you will not win in your market today.