Last week during TW London Last Thursday event, I had the pleasure to see this presentation from Dave Robertson and John Johnston (or at least part of it), about how Agile and User Centered design are more a match, sharing goals and values, than different approaches to software development.
If you have some time you should really watch it, it is worth the time.
The overall presentation is really good, but the reason I’m posting here is one specific point that was mentioned, which I believe really hit the spot, and that’s when they say we should rethink the word work in the “the simplest thing that could possibly work” sentence.
This point goes back to the Agile Vs Usability discussion and it is very correct IMO, because it reiterates that development teams should not deliver any code just because it was quick to develop it and the client is happy (although he shouldn’t be at all) since it didn’t cost a fortune.
And what is interesting about this subject is how agile teams don’t usually accept low quality code standards (code without tests, lots of hacks, etc..), but easily accept low usability standards, not understanding that is also their responsibility to define what a good user experience is.
What I’m NOT trying to say is that the user should be left outside from the application design. He should definitely have his opinion (and a strong one), but should also receive advice in UX standards as much as he should in code quality, making sure that he understands what he loses when is trying to save money on each particular feature.