Managing Experiences: Utilizing User Experience Design (UX) as an Agile Methodology for Teaching Project Management

Managing Experiences: Utilizing User Experience Design (UX) as an Agile Methodology for Teaching Project Management

Guiseppe Getto (East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSKD.2015100101
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Abstract

The popularity of agile frameworks for project management within a variety of professions necessitates new approaches to teaching project management. At the same time, the increased pervasiveness of digital technologies means that more and more projects will relate closely to the development of user experiences (UX). To connect these two interests (project management and UX), in the following article the author develops an agile methodology for teaching project management. This methodology utilizes the UX Process and related concepts (e.g., preliminary research, prototyping, usability testing, and maintenance) to argue that traditional components of projects—strategies, teams, clients, deliverables, timelines, and benchmarks—must be refashioned into ultra-flexible heuristics that can be adapted to a variety of contingencies.
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The Ux Process As Agile Teaching Methodology

The UX Process can be defined as the sum total of activities that need to occur during the design of a digital product or service to ensure a high-quality user experience (Garrett, 2003; Hartson & Pyla, 2012; Buley, 2013; Hoober, 2014). This process is typically depicted as a series of stages that UX professionals lead design teams through like the following:

  • Preliminary research

  • Prototyping

  • Usability testing

  • Maintenance

Less a linear process than a recursive and iterative one, the UX Process helps design practitioners make decisions regarding when designs reach a certain threshold. Preliminary research, for instance, enables designers to understand user needs in order to keep them at the center of the design process. Prototyping enables designers to build low-fidelity, medium-fidelity, and high-fidelity simulations of a product or service. Usability testing allows designers to try out prototypes with actual users to ensure ease-of-use, functionality, and user engagement. Maintenance occurs after a new product or service is delivered to market, and concerns the processes of ensuring the continued functionality of the design, including adapting the design to new users and their needs.

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