T08: Agile Research Data for Agile Teams

Monday, 26 July 2021, 08:00 – 12:00 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time - Washington DC)
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Everett McKay (short bio)

Principal, UX Design Edge, United States



Attendees will gain confidence that they can do effective user research, even when on agile teams with two-week sprints. But perhaps more importantly, attendees will have a better understanding of user research traps that lead to teams being misinformed rather than enlightened. Naturally, a goal is to avoid these traps in the first place.


Content and benefits:

One of the most fundamental concepts in UX design is that you aren’t your users, so you need data to make informed decisions, validate hypotheses, and avoid the sin of designing for yourself. You are on an agile and possibly lean team and know that the quality of your decisions only as good as the quality of your data. So you measure everything you can, and strive to make data-driven decisions. You have discovered that using data is the best way of getting quick consensus and buyoff.

Just three problems: 1) Two-week sprints make significant user research nearly impossible, 2) Chances are, your data isn’t nearly as good as you think it is. And worse: 3) As a result, being data driven is a serious mistake—it’s much better to be data informed.

Here’s the tutorial outline:

  1. The need for data (Discussion: How is your team using data now?)
  2. The pitfalls of data (Discussion: What mistakes has your team made using data?)
  3. The 10 deadly data sins (Discussion: Which of these have you seen? The consequences?)
  4. A survey of data collection methods (Discussion: Which are you using now?)
  5. Agile data for Agile teams (Discussion: How has Agile affected research?)
  6. Tutorial exercises

There are many class discussions throughout. The tutorial ends with a team-based exercise (based on a real user research project) of developing a research plan, analyzing the results, determining ways in which the data might be misleading, and correcting course. Participants will see what the real team actually did.


Target Audience:

There is no prerequisite knowledge, but intermediates and experts will benefit the most.

Bio Sketch of Presenter:

Everett McKay is Principal of UX Design Edge and a UX design trainer and consultant with global clientele. Everett's specialty is finding practical, intuitive, simple, highly usable solutions quickly for web, mobile, and desktop applications. Everett has over 30 years' experience in user interface design and has delivered UX design workshops to an international audience that includes Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, and Africa.

Everett is author of "Intuitive Design: Eight Steps to an Intuitive UI", the definitive guide to designing intuitive interactions, and "UI Is Communication: How to Design Intuitive, User Centered Interfaces by Focusing on Effective Communication", a groundbreaking approach to UI design using human communication-based principles and techniques. While at Microsoft, Everett wrote the Windows UX Guidelines for Windows 7 and Windows Vista. Everett holds a master's degree in computer science from MIT.