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5 Ways to Improve Your Digital Product in an Agile Process

By

Louie Pitlo

|

March 9, 2017

While working with the Agile team, I have seen patterns of problems that are process-related. This affects delivering the best user experience (UX). Here's my advice on how to improve or enhance the design process.

Customer research should be conducted before product launch

The reason “Customers don’t know what they want until they see it” isn’t good enough reason to overlook the best UX. Best thing to do is to pre-test the product by tapping potential customers/users the platform early prototypes and collect feedback. They may not give the best design application for you but they can provide you with an idea of what they're looking for on that particular platform and you can prioritise the features. At least you are aware that the product designs successfully solve the problems of the user.

UX designer should approve the finished product

Take away the risk to a significant compromise of the original vision for the product by making sure that the designer is satisfied with the user experience. This is why web development agile design and development process supports design evolution, changes that are agreed upon by both design and development.

Trust UX designers to select the right balance of features

The challenge is that stakeholders often have differing ideas about which features are important and what the user experience should be. Also, during customer research sessions, stakeholders generate additional ideas and feature requests. This often leads to a long list of wishes that is a challenge for both designer and developer to satisfy everyone. If this is the case, stakeholders must let the designer use her expertise to filter this list of information. Let him refer to his compiled user/stakeholder interviews and usability studies, for him to be able to determine the right set of features required to create a simplified user experience. Also, the designer will be better positioned to make feature decisions since he understands the user needs/requirements and stakeholder business goals, and is aware of UX principles that determine the right balance of cognitive load within the design architecture.

Don't Put Off the User Experience

In the Agile process, sometimes the tendency is the user experience elements such as transitions, dynamic tables and slick menus have been postponed or cancelled altogether.

Why? Because as long as the design is deemed “good enough” to business owners, UX elements often remain unchanged. The solution then is for them to be made aware that many users have high expectations and will abandon a minimum viable product for another minimum delightful product.

Don't overlook the importance of visual design just to have finished product

Most likely design flaws are allowed to pile up and designers tend to let it slide.  Sadly, when visual imperfections are not corrected, they can give users the impression that the brand is not good either. Building an ugly product, even though it was created faster, typically results to negative customer reviews. And so business owners should be mindful that customer impressions are immediately set after a product release, making their minds harder to change later.

 

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