User Experience and Agile – Meetup report

I used to work with a chap called James. When I met him, he was known as a User Centred Designer (UCD) , and I worked with him on some of the projects that I have previously written about on this site. We hope to collaborate on some articles on here in the future.

These days, he’s a Senior Experience Designer at New England agency, MadPow. You might have seen an article recently by two of James’ colleagues, Illustrating the Big Picture : Journeys, Experiences and Interactions.

I also used to run an agile group in Oxford, where I used to live, and we used to team up with the UX Oxford group, from time to time.

Anyway, as you can tell, I’m a big advocate of incorporating User Experience into agile projects. Ever since I became involved with the Melbourne Agile and Scrum User Group, I wanted to organise an event to discuss UX and Agile.

After a couple of false starts, the evening was held on 23 May 2012, at the Seek offices in St Kilda Rd. I announced the event on Meetup, and within a day 115 places had been snapped up, and we had around 30 people on the waiting list. So, obviously a pretty hot topic!

Peter Grierson, did a talk on general User Experience principles, with an emphasis on how UX can support shared understanding in an agile project. He shared some examples of what he’s done at variuos companies in New Zealand and Australia, most recently at REA ( Incidentally, I’m hoping to team up with Pete, for a session at LAST Conference, that has a UX focus.

You can see his presentation, and listen to his talk, in the Slideshare deck, below.

Later, we had a a panel discussion relating to the gatherings’ real world examples of Agile UX . The panel used a Fishbowl format to allow everyone to take part in the discussion, which I think worked pretty well.

Thanks very much to Simon and Amelia from Seek for helping to organise the evening, and to Seek for providing the venue and refreshments for the gathering!

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