The Complete Guide to Agile UX

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Colby Boone

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When it comes to launching a website or web page, you could spend years trying to build the perfect experience. However, you’re probably not able to wait that long. You’ll likely need to get your work out more quickly. That’s where an agile approach to the user experience comes in.

agile ux represented by a person drawing

Let’s say I want to create a site for my plant shop. If I were to pursue agile UX, I would build a prototype of the site first. Then, I’d bring in users and get their feedback. I’d make changes based on their input and launch my online plant shop. From there, I would gather real input from my customers and iterate upon my site as needed.

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Table of Contents

What is agile UX?

Agile user experience (UX) is an iterative design process that focuses on quickly creating and testing prototypes with users. It prioritizes feedback-driven development, which means user feedback and data are used to inform the design. This helps ensure that the end product meets users’ needs well. Agile UX emphasizes frequent collaboration between stakeholders, designers, and developers to provide an efficient workflow.

The agile UX process typically begins with research and understanding user needs.

Next, prototypes are created and tested with users to get feedback. Based on this feedback, changes can be made until the product meets the desired goals. This iterative process helps ensure that the end product is built with users’ needs in mind.

Data can be used to inform decisions throughout the agile UX design process. Analytics data, user surveys, and other research can help inform design strategies and prioritize features. This helps ensure that the product will be successful and meet users’ needs.

The Principles of Agile UX

Agile UX is a process that combines user experience design with agile product development. By combining the principles of agile software development and user experience design, teams can create effective products quickly and efficiently. Here are some of the key principles of agile UX.

The Principles of Agile UX. Iterative Process Collaboration Data-Driven Decisions Flexibility

Iterative Process

Agile UX is an iterative process that focuses on taking small steps and making improvements over time. By breaking down the design process into small steps, teams can quickly create a prototype and test it with users to see how it performs before making any major changes.

Collaboration

Agile UX emphasizes collaboration between stakeholders, designers, and developers. By fostering collaboration, teams can quickly identify issues and make improvements that meet users’ needs better.

Data-Driven Decisions

Agile UX relies on data-driven decisions to determine the best course of action. Teams should gather feedback from users throughout the design process to ensure they are creating a product that meets their needs effectively.

Flexibility

Agile UX is a flexible process that allows teams to make changes quickly in response to user feedback or market trends. Teams should be agile and open to making changes if needed at any point during the design process.

By following the principles of Agile UX, teams can create effective products quickly and efficiently that meet users’ needs. With the right process in place, you can ensure your team is able to create great products without wasting time on unnecessary features.

User Personas and Agile UX

UX personas are an essential part of the agile UX design process. As a designer, you must understand the different characteristics, goals, frustrations, and motivations of each persona. Is your target audience tech-savvy? Are they usually accessing your site on their cell phones?

Knowing your users will help you build your initial designs. You also know whose feedback you should collect when you start iterating on your initial product.

Consider creating a focus group or a reliable cohort to test your site. Your personas should be represented in this group. Testers people will surface different issues that affect their impacted demographics.

For example, let’s say I’m creating an online store for a jewelry business. Higher-income shoppers won’t have a problem charging a gold pendant to their credit card. However, someone from a different financial bracket may benefit from a buy-now-pay-later service, like Klarna.

Or perhaps, if I want to reach a different market, I create a prominent sales portion of the website. I could also offer gold-plated necklaces featuring similar designs.

agile UX, gold hoops with buy now pay later option

By talking to different types of buyer personas, I can better understand where to make changes to both my site and my product.

Agile UX in Action

Agile UX can be applied to all kinds of projects — from creating an online store to developing a mobile app. Here is an example of how agile UX could improve the development process for a new ecommerce website.

I would begin by identifying my target users and creating personas based on their needs and goals. Let’s say I want to sell monogrammed home goods, including aprons, pans, and Dutch ovens. My target audience would be home cooks, interior decorators, and people looking to buy gifts.

Members of this audience may be used to buying these goods in person. With this in mind, I know I have to build an intuitive interface and user experience.

With this in mind, I can build a one-page website that outlines all of my offerings. Users can view my pots, pans, and dishes all on one scroll. After adding objects to the cart, people can check out on a separate page.

agile UX, iteration one of a home goods ecommerce website

After the prototype is built, I can take my site to potential users that match my target personas. I reach out to a cohort of older home cooks, stay-at-home moms, and college students looking to stock their kitchens.

From these tests, I find that serious home cooks prefer to have items sorted by category. If they only want monogrammed glasses, they don’t want to scroll through plates and Dutch ovens.

agile UX, iteration one of a home goods ecommerce website

With this insight, I can iterate on my website and add the option to shop by category. Gathering feedback from users throughout the design process allows them to make improvements and ensure the product meets users’ needs better.

From there, I gather data on user behavior when the site is live. I find that the pots category has the most traffic. I can then make the data-driven decision to feature pots more prominently on my site.

agile UX, iteration one of a home goods ecommerce website

I can then create a web experience that satisfies the demands of consumers quickly and effectively. This technique also allows them to make modifications as needed without wasting time on things that aren't necessary.

Getting Started With Agile UX

Agile UX is an effective methodology that allows teams to create great products quickly and efficiently. By following the principles of agile UX, teams can collaborate together more effectively, make data-driven decisions, and be agile enough to make changes if needed.

With this method in place, you can ensure that your team can build exceptional experiences without spending time on features that aren't critical.

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Topics: User Experience

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