These observations on challenges of integrating UX into Agile resonate with me. One solution to the problem of integrating UX into Agile is a matrix (see below). This might be overkill in some projects. But mapping UX to stories (and to business needs) seems like a smart way to formalize UX requirements.
I’ve encountered two problems common among agile teams when helping them improve the user experience of their products or services:
- UX work is frequently overlooked during the release and sprint planning efforts.
- Teams often fail to measure the UX impact of their iterative efforts.
These two problems become more serious when combined.
When UX work goes undone and the impact is not measured, the team doing the work has no idea what is going on. The feedback loop is broken. Both agile and UX methods emphasize iteration, but productive iteration requires good feedback loops.
You can conduct development iterations (the focus of agile) or design iterations (the focus of UX), but if you fail to measure the impact of the iteration, you won’t see the real benefits of an iterative process. You will have no real idea if your offering is any closer to meeting the needs of the end user. The User Experience Integration Matrix (UXI Matrix) addresses these problems by tying UX to the project backlog.