Hitting the Target

Adding Interaction Design Agile Software Development

Featured OOPSLA 2003

OOPSLA (Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages & Applications) is an annual ACM research conference.

Extreme Programming appears to be a solution for discovering and meeting requirements faster (through close customer collaboration) as well as creating quality software. In practice we found XP did deliver high quality software quickly, but the resulting product still failed to delight the customer. Although the finished product should have been an exact fit, the actual end-user still ended up slogging through the system to accomplish necessary day-to-day work. This paper describes using interaction design in an agile development process to resolve this issue. Using interaction design as a day-to-day practice throughout an iterative development process helps our team at Tomax Technologies deliver high quality software, while feeling confident the resulting software will more likely meet end-user expectations. The method of Interaction Design followed here is based on Constantine and Lockwood’s Usage- Centered Design. Recommendations are provided on how to practice an agile form of U-CD and how to incorporate bits of Interaction Design thinking into every day development and product planning decisions.

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