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Embrace uncertainty: building a UX process for an Agile world

  • Tom Illmensee and Bogdan Stanciu
  • Sep 26, 2012
  • English

Think about a product or feature you worked on and launched recently at your organization. Now think about the process the team followed to define and build that product. How well did the team understand user goals and define business objectives? How often did they test their ideas with real users? How did they reconcile technology constraints, design principles, and business requirements? How long did it take to get from kick-off to launch? Did the team produce an outcome they are proud of?

Our user experience team asked ourselves these same questions and did not always like the answers. If your team also skips steps (or follows the right steps only part of the time), there’s a good chance your process is undefined or underpowered. This presentation outlines a successful strategy our team used to craft a disciplined UX process. Attendees will learn how to evaluate the current state of their UX practices and how to plot a faster course to better value and quality.

As a medium-sized SaaS company with an Agile startup culture, we were learning through trial and error the value of iterative, faster-paced product development processes. Despite strong skills, a good toolbox, and the best intentions, the final products we were helping to produce sometimes failed to meet our expectations for quality. Card sorting with each designer revealed process gaps, helped identify patterns around thought processes and design steps, and highlighted dependencies across teams. Drawing inspiration from each other (and from the Lean Startup and LeanUX communities), the UX team redefined our practice and tailored an approach better aligned with our teams, company culture and business goals. The result is a cohesive, flexible UX process that produces better results faster. Our organization is unique. So is your UX practice. If your organization is not practicing Agile now, it will be. The presenters will show you how to examine your current UX process and how to build a stronger foundation for an Agile future.


Tom Illmensee

Director of User Experience at Snagajob

Tom Illmensee is the Director of User Experience at Snagajob, the largest online community of hourly workers and the leading provider of workforce management solutions exclusively for hourly employers in the U.S.

Bogdan Stanciu

Information Architect at Snagajob

Bogdan Stanciu is the Information Architect at Snagajob. Bogdan has been practicing IA exclusively in the last 6 years, after dabbling in graphic and web design for almost 12 years.

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