–Engage

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

BarCampNYC – About, For, With – David Heller

So, I gave my presentation at BarCamp to a small crowd of about 10. You can read the basics of the presentation.

Following the presentation, there was discussion how does UCD fit (or can it) with agile programming methods. This was an interesting discussion. I tried to highlight that there is nothing contradictory between UCD and agile programming methods and in fact “agile” methods are very similar to a lot of design methods. The problem is that you do have to know something about your users before you begin. How much and how you get that information is going to be different organization to organization.

Please leave a comment if you were at the presentation and remember more than I put in here. Of course you are always free to comment about other parts of this as well.

One of the attendees posted these notes from my presentation. (Hey, I’m really bad with names, so if you can stand up and take a bow in the comments below, I’d appreciate it.)

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  • http://www.civicvactions.com GregoryHeller

    David, I enjoyed the presnetation, I am definitely going to review the ppt. I think that the key contradiction between UCD and Agile, as you explained it was the idea that you start coding on day 1. In our cross functional teams at CivicActions.com we may start coding on day 1, but we also start designing on day 1. Using Drupal there is work that can be done on these two parts of the project indipendently for a period of time before they come back together in the final product.

    This may be specific to the development of websites rather than application developement. We also do not employ a “text book” model of exptreme programming, or even agile, though we are trending toward an Agile / Iterative model.

  • http://synapticburn.com/ David Heller

    Hi Gregory,
    Great meeting you this past weekend.
    Regarding the “separation” of technology from design, I think this works if you think of design as ONLY the presentation layer. However, when you think about the overall experience, you’ll need to do a lot of research before you can even decide what technology to use. I mean, would I use drupal if I wanted to create a spreadsheet on the web? If I wanted to do an online stock trading piece of software?

    There are many types of product constraints that can effect technology decisions that would come from the strategy, market and user experience.

    So that to me is the real conflict between UCD and Agile methods.

    I would also point out that there is always something done before “day 1”. I mean someone had to say today is day 1 and why there is even a day 1 at some point.

    So maybe this is all about re-defining what is “day 1” and when that happens.

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