19. 06. 2019

UX Design in Agile Product Development – Bringing Together what Belongs Together

As part of our project work, we are repeatedly confronted by D-LABS with the question of how we see the part of UX design optimally integrated in agile product or service development. In response, we developed a model in the design team for an ideal-typical process and the integration of UX Design and Development in Scrum.

In the first step, we give an overview of the process and show that before the start of the developing phase, in which Scrum can work, there should be a preliminary phase, divided into Research and UX Design Development.


The Preliminary Phase – The Conceptual Basis

In research there are two possible approaches: You can start by highlighting the problem or with a 360° “greenfield” view, so to speak. If you choose problem highlighting, a comprehensive search is first carried out that captures the circumstances of the various stakeholders of the business, the users and the system environment in a 360° view. Methods which can be used here are, for instance, qualitative interviews, user group or market analysis. In the ensuing synthesis, the results of the research are analyzed and interpreted in order to specify the different requirements of the three stakeholders. This forms an important basis in order to be able to validate the achieved result over and over again in the subsequent development phases.

The results of the research form the starting point of the UX design phase that can begin, for instance, with a briefing describing the needs and objectives. At the Ideation, the first step in the design phase, we begin by broadening the scope of both interaction design and visual design and – with the help of initial rough prototypes – develop different solutions to highlight the possibilities that meet the needs. Then we concretize the concepts in an iterative process called Design Refinement. The results are finally recorded in a prototype. At the same time, the first content for the Product Backlog can already be written here. The prototype is then validated to meet the needs of experts and/or forms the basis for the Product Backlog.


UX Design in Scrum – An Agile Interplay

Throughout the Scrum process, UX design should be declared both within a team role and as part of the process. Feeding the Product Backlog does not stop the UX design task. Thus, after each sprint review a design review should take place and detected problems should be solved in parallel with the developer sprint. At the center of this interplay are always the needs of all three stakeholders. After a certain maturity of the developed product it should be validated with the user groups again.


Clearly, this can only be seen as a model, since each project has its own requirements and processes have to be adapted individually. Together with our customers, we at D-LABS have had very good experiences with this approach and successfully completed projects.

By Xosé Lustres, Claudia Steinhoff und Doreen Papst

by Team
Digital Experience Design


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