User Experience Documentation Needs to be Agile

Recently, I was interviewed by Portofino Media, Topics for Agile Innovation, Exploring the Agile User Experience Journey. In this interview, Armond Merhabian and I focus on UX in context of the Agile Manifesto. In recent blogs, I have covered UX and other parts of the manifesto like Individuals and Interactions Over Process and Tools and Responding to Change Over Following a Plan. In this interview, we discussed Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation which we both believe is the most abused of the Agile Manifestos.

If your team is small enough to sit in the same room and look each other in the face everyday then you probably can get away with little or no documentation. But as your team grows and daily face-to-face interaction becomes more challenging then you need documentation to cover the communication gap.

To keep everyone on the same page, there needs to be page to be on. But as Armond says, “We need documentation to be lean, meaningful, crisp and to the point.” As a UX designer, I think about what is the quickest and most concise way to communicate the design to my target audience. Is it wireframes, PowerPoint or sitting in a room with a whiteboard and taking a picture of that? A picture is worth a thousand words… and a prototype is worth a thousand meetings.