Agile UX is the Key to Building Great Products

This is an idea for a presentation and workshop that I submitted to the Agile 2013 Conference. My key motivation for wanting to give this talk is out of frustration from working on projects where UX is treated as a production resource, rather than the product owner.



Organizations at any stage of growth, from global companies to early-stage startups all aim to create a fantastic product experience. Yet at the end of the day, teams big and small struggle with project processes and strategy. They look to agile methodologies as a way to create a better product, yet can’t seem to integrate design into their process well enough to end up with a killer user experience.


I believe that there is a fundamental flaw with how teams view user experience design, and how agile product teams are structured. Design is treated as a production resource, rather than a strategic discipline. Product ownership and management isn’t treated with a user-centric mindset. Agile methodologies can help teams work more efficiently, but will only improve product quality when there is more tight collaboration between designers and developers.

Over the past year I’ve worked as the lead UX designer for several different startups. Throughout these engagements I’ve culled together some lessons learned from success and failures that I believe all product teams can benefit from. We’ll explore these lessons through stories, anecdotes, and a group design exercise.

A few of these stories include:

Information for Review Team:

Talk will be divided into five parts:

Some recent related blog posts:
Why Every Startup Needs A UX Design Advisor
The Design Process And Artifact Fidelity Build Experiences Not Documentation/

Prerequisite Knowledge:

Learning Outcomes:

Unfortunately, Agile 2013 rejected my submission — in the words of Arrested Development’s Lucille Austero: “unless you’re planning some grand romantic gesture, my feelings are just the teensiest bit hurt.”