Successfully delivering UX in an Agile environment

In a recent Nielsen Norman study, respondents reported that 69% of their projects in 2016 were Agile, compared to just 40% in 2008. This is reflective of our work.

We have been applying UX techniques to Agile projects since 2012 and, like all good consultancies, we have a defined an approach that works for us:

UX and Agile

Here’s our quick-step cheat sheet for successfully delivering UX in an Agile environment:

  1. Carry out research to identify the project requirements
  2. Work with the project team (e.g. stakeholders, BAs, PMs, designers, developers) to prioritise requirements and develop a release plan
  3. In sprints, produce UX deliverables that demonstrate how to meet the requirements (we typically work 1 or 2 sprints ahead of designers and developers and sometimes even further in advance if we have a particularly gnarly problme to solve)
  4. Pesent your work to the project team and collaborate with them to refine UX deliverables
  5. Sign over the UX deliverables to designers and developers once they are stable and unlikely to change massively
  6. Provide continual guidance to designers and developers so that they use their own skills to further refine UX

And, of course, test with users at key intervals and feed back the results to the project team so that further improvements can be made (this could be with wireframes, prototypes or beta demos).