Thursday, November 20, 2008

Agile usability

Jakob Nielsen is writing about how to use agile development methods without ignoring the usability aspect. This is a really interesting topic since usability is ignored to an equal degree within both waterfall and agile methods.

In my experience, usability people usually favor the heavy up-front design. Because, in their view, once they've completed their sound usability engineering, what could possibly change? Their work is done and they leave before the first line of code is written. They continue on to the next project without ever learning that requirements always change, and ought to change.

While I'm on the subject, let's look at the usability of Jakob's Alertbox column itself. Where is the Comments feature? Is he too smart for feedback? I've sent him an email about this. We'll see if his email address is actually usable...