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T26: Rapidly Designing and Testing Great User Interfaces

T26: Rapidly Designing and Testing Great User Interfaces

Monday, Oct 23, from 08:30 to 12:00, C123

You've gathered requirements for your new project as some set of features or user stories that users and stakeholders value most. You've prioritized these features and now it's time for developers to estimate how long it might take to build. They've got questions on exactly what the user interface looks like and how it behaves. As a matter of fact, so do you. This tutorial will introduce a practical approach to translating the goals users would like to achieve and the tasks they wish to accomplish into user interface designs that effectively support those goals and tasks. Participants will learn how a User Centered Design practitioner moves quickly from user task to user interface. Participants will learn through practice by taking a set of features and transforming them into tangible user scenarios, then collaboratively building and testing paper prototypes of their proposed user interface. In addition to paper prototyping skills and basic usability testing skills, participants will learn essential visual design skills that can help improve the appeal of your user interface.

Introductory:  This tutorial will be particularly valuable to those in a Product manager or an Agile customer or product owner role. Business analysts, UI designers, developers, testers, and project managers can all benefit from learning the fundamentals of fast collaborative UI design and testing.

Goals: Introduce attendees to the process of user interface design including scenario writing, paper prototyping, usability testing, and simple visual design rules.

Format: This tutorial is taught by alternating presentation and discussion with hands-on exercises that allow participants to learn by doing. Participants will function in small design teams to build models and prototypes. The pace is quick and the amount of information covered is dense.

Jeff Patton, Thoughtworks: Jeff Patton has designed and developed software for the past 12 years on a wide variety of projects from on-line aircraft parts ordering to electronic medical records. Since working on an XP team in 2000, Jeff has been heavily involved in Agile methods. In particular Jeff has focused on the application of user centered design techniques to drive design in Agile projects resulting in leaner more collaborative forms of traditional UCD practices. Jeff has found that adding UCD thinking to Agile approaches of incremental development and story card writing not only makes those tasks easier but results in much higher quality software. Some of his recent writing on the subject can be found at and in Alistair Cockburn's Crystal Clear. Jeff is currently a proud employee of ThoughtWorks, an active board member of the Agile Alliance, and founder and list moderator of the agile-usability discussion group on Yahoo Groups.

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