A Practical Guide to UX Strategy and Agile Website Development
With multiple changes in trends and user preferences, organizations are constantly revamping their websites with a better UX strategy. However, it is not an easy task considering the majority of organizations use agile methodologies.
It is a prominent argument that UX strategy doesn’t go hand in hand with agile methodology. Also to pull it off, it is important to understand what a UX strategy and agile development are in essence, their associated problems, the importance of incorporation, and key points to make them compatible.
Therefore without any delay, let's try to sort out this problem for app design companies.
What is a UX Strategy?
For applications today, it is important to be user-centric. A UX or user experience is the overall experience a user feels while using a service or product created by an organization. With a UX strategy, the idea is to create an overall improved user experience that creates more engagement, user retention, and is easy to use.
To further extrapolate, it is a systematic process of further enhancing the user experience for an application or a service.
There are primarily three components of a UX strategy. These are
- Intention behind the strategy
- Requirements, goals, and ROIs
- Associated plan
Implications of not having a UX Strategy!
Failing to have a UX strategy for the development process can lead to the following problems:
- It can affect the profitability of the organization
- It means that the organization doesn’t have a better understanding of its user base.
- The organization will lack a long-term competitive advantage.
- The organization can suffer in terms of retention and engagement.
What is an Agile Website Development?
There are prominently seven types of SDLCs (Software Development Life Cycles). Agile development is amongst the most popular ones used today.
Due to consistent requirements for feature changes and software requirements in the existing projects, the requirement of agile development came into existence.
It takes the help of cross-functional teams for continuous development and aggregation of new code modules.
Agile development is based on the following factors:
- Proper control of tools and resources.
- Collaboration should be based on customer requirements.
- Active response to incident change instead of a firm plan.
It comprises four factors primarily which are:
The overall idea behind the agile development process is the continuous integration of elements with ease.
Problem Associated with the Implementation of Agile Methodology along with a UX Strategy!
The problem associated with agile development is that it is a very developer-centric approach. The moment a particular requirement is fulfilled from the backend side, the team moves to another task. However, the realm of designing is very subjective and can often take a lot more time & resources than expected. It is because different perception leads to different perspectives.
This particular problem creates a lot of confusion for app designing companies and increases the toll on them in terms of workload. Another major problem is the higher adoption of agile methodologies for website development. It is considering the flexible nature of the implementation methodology. Therefore, a lot of organizations try to figure out ways to handle UX strategy along with the agile methodology effectively.
Importance of including a UX Strategy and Agile Website Development
While agile methodology predominantly focuses on the backend side of things, majorly the factors that distinguish the two websites are the UI/UX part. Design is a much more important aspect than a lot of people might think it would be.
It is because primarily the user requires an excellent design and navigable elements to interact with the backend services. Therefore without a great UX strategy creating a sustainable experience is not possible. Also with the inclusion of agile methodology, the task of finding a way to make the UX strategy work with agile development becomes much more important.
How to incorporate UX Strategy with Agile Website Development?
Incorporating a UX Strategy into agile website development is a complicated process. However, nothing is impossible and this can also be pulled off.
To make that happen, below are the key points:
- Focus on Customer Satisfaction: Call it clients or customers, the major reason behind a methodology such as agile is to gratify customers. For instance, there are multiple applications today that incorporate a new element every week. However, the teams make sure that the design elements meet the overall theme of the project, otherwise, it is not released.
- Support for UX Strategists: The feedback received by the designing teams can often be subjective and open to interpretation. For instance, sometimes the responses to a particular design can be like “It's Good Enough”, “It's Fine”, “Looks Decent”, etc. Also, another variable is that the process doesn’t always run parallel to the backend process. Therefore, the intention behind the support should be to help minimize the pending backlog instead of dragging it along the way. A clear explanation of what is expected and some freedom for the UX strategist can create wonders.
- Consistency: Maintain consistency with the overall design elements. Make sure that the design elements hit a particular benchmark and below that the design itself should be unacceptable to the designer itself.
- Focus on Use Case or Workflow: Each & every workflow and use case is unique and it can vary from organization to organization. It is because each organization follows its own unique process based on its values, goals, and vision. It often creates a contrast and makes every design element unique for each organization. The idea is to learn about the workflow and create a UX experience that is easily navigable by the user.
- Leave room for improvement: The overall agile methodology adopted by the organization should always leave room for improvements on the way. A tightly packed process doesn’t leave any extra time for incoming issues. This creates a collision of deadlines and further confusion with the process.
- Engage with every service: Most services that are created by the team are treated as MVPs. For instance, if the team is done with a service then they won’t consider further updation of the process for enhancement. Keeping some room for this process too would help in overall integrating the UX strategy.
The capability to pull off a great UX strategy with agile methodology is truly a boon for multiple app design companies. It is one of the major impediment that people on the design team faces. By focusing on the key points mentioned above, any organization can create a great user-centric website. Yet implementing these points would require an organization-wide transition from their routine work to these strategies. Therefore, it is not just the factors but the effectiveness of the way they are integrated that truly matters.