You can make the best UI design, which is an important part of UX design if you incorporate scrum sprints in it. There is no doubt that UI designers should be a part of your scrum team and they must work as a part of the agile sprint. This is a big thing to consider and therefore needs a deeper probe into it.
Ideally, there are two distinct goals of an agile sprint namely:
- Building a new functionality and
- Building new knowledge.
Out of these two, it is very obvious that for each sprint the team has to create a new functionality which in fact is he the primary purpose of most of the projects after all. This will enable you to provide your users with better and newer capabilities.
As for the other goal of the scrum team, building new knowledge will help the team to finish each sprint in a smarter and quicker way than they started. This knowledge will help them in learning a lot of other different things such as:
- About a new technology to use
- About the user behavior and how they view the functionality built by them
- About how the functionality is performing and at times
- About the team itself.
Therefore, both these agile sprint goals are important for the UI designers during each sprint. This is because it will help them to pursue the design into implementation along with the tested code and at the same time allow them to thinkabout the next feature to build and use.
When the designers know what to expect next they will be able to make proper plans during both the sprints. This is because the team will perform at dual level.
- One, they will focus on the coding and Usability testing aspect of the product backlog
- Two, they will spend most of their time looking at the upcoming items when they focus further down into the product backlog.
However, there will be only one team working at a time on one sprint being able to distinguish and prioritize their work on the current sprint. If in case, a specific member of the team needs certain clarifications on a certain aspect of the UX design for a product backlog item that is being worked on currently, the designer will stop thinking about future sprint. They will answer to the question of the team member to ensure that the current sprint is worked upon perfectly and just as it is desired.
Role played by the designer
Now you may ask, since the UI designers will be a part of the team, is their role cut short or is it insignificant? Well, it is not true at all. It is the UI designer that actually creates the foundation of the design ensuring that the entire responsibility of perfecting the design upfront is shared by all members of the team equally and as per their specific role.
- Since the designers are permitted to look ahead and the agile team taking on the responsibility of completing the design, the designer rather does just enough in advance to ensure that the product backlog item is completed by the rest of the team members on time and as desired in the later sprint phase.
- When the team works on it at the end of the sprint they will feel that they have all the relevant info required from the designers which will enable them to finish the product backlog item within the last sprint phase.
- This will help them to look at some product backlog items in great detail and that too more than a sprint ahead while there may be some product backlog items that might not need to be looked into at all in advance.
However, it must be remembered that any product backlog item that the designer will look into beyond the current sprint must be chosen after a thorough discussion with the owner of the product. This will ensure that the designer does not have to work on an item that the product owner may later deem unnecessary.
Fear of bad design
There is a common concern amongst the product owners that such a practice may lead to bad design since the designer in such cases are not allowed to think holistically. However, this is not true. The entire system upfront will just work as good as if was designed by the designer alone. This is because the collaborative approach will ensure a few specific things. Apart from ensuring a more persuasive design the team work will ensure that different principles are followed during the design. These different principles include:
- Social proof
- Consistency and
Out of all these principles, the principle of liking is the most significant one to any UX designer.
The principle of liking
The Liking Principle is perhaps the most influencing principles to follow when it comes to UX design because it involves the psychology of compliance. Different social psychology study reports prove that it determines the nature and different aspects of liking such as:
- Similarity – This involves the human psychology in UX design that people like those people who are similar in behavior, nature and body language.
- Familiarity – This results in repeated and positive interaction with interface to encourage liking.
- Cooperation – People like other people who are ready to help them out which is another principle use din UX design.
- Association – This involves sharing of values which is one significant aspect that the designers want to give to the users.
- Praise – This involve complimenting each other which invariably produces a positive effect in a relationship.
All these aspects taken together along with other principles such as scarcity and social proof that sped up actions, principle of liking promotes functionality of a websiteor interface which in turn helps in building a positive and long lasting relationship. This ideally is the primary intent of the UX designers as these will at a later stage lead to higher customer retention and conversion rates.