Let an on-site UX consultant break down the walls between design and engineering

von Edna Kropp (akquinet AG), Nicole Charlier (akquinet AG)

A lot of development teams struggle with the question on how to unite development and design. The aim is to come up with a solution that has a positive user experience (UX). We created a role we call "On-site UX Consultant". In agile software development, this role is comparable to an on-site customer in Extreme Programming (XP) or a product owner in Scrum. The on-site UX consultant is in charge of keeping the focus on all aspects concerning UX in our development process.

With an agile user-centered approach we create a solution for a control system for a knit-wear business. The aim of the project is to build a software solution, that allows users of knitting machines to manage and monitor their machinery, plan and dispatch orders to different machines and analyze operating data (e.g. productivity, faulty pieces) in a graphical, user friendly way. The application is technically unique in this domain in that it is based on latest open source web technologies and responsive for mobile devices. The client is aware of the importance of a good UX and supports extensive UX measures such as creating wireframe prototypes or performing usability tests.

In this talk we will show the importance of the role of an on-site UX consultant for an excellent user experience. We will describe our acquired know-how about integrating the role. And we will also share our experience about the impact of a user-centered approach on the overall development process, e.g. creating artifacts such as personas, scenarios, and a UI pattern guide. As part of the talk we will suggest how this knowledge can be applied to any kind of development process - especially in an open-source software development environment.

Über den Autor Edna Kropp:

Edna Kropp ist User Experience Engineer bei der akquinet AG in Berlin. Sie ist als Beraterin ttig. Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt ihrer Arbeit ist die Integration von UX-Prozessen in den Softwareentwicklungsprozess. Sie ist Mitglied der German UPA.

Über den Autor Nicole Charlier:

Nicole Charlier ist User Experience Engineer und leitet das Competence Center fr User Experience bei der akquinet AG in Berlin. Sie ist als Beraterin ttig und leitet Inhouse Usability Projekte. Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt ihrer Arbeit ist die Integration von UX-Prozessen in den Softwareentwicklungsprozess. Sie ist aktives Mitglied der German UPA.