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Low, medium, high. (Source)

In this article, I describe the intersections between UX process and Agile Scrum as a three-level framework, which can be applied to increase the strategic influence of the UX team within your organization.

I’m periodically asked by colleagues how the practice of UX intersects with Agile Scrum sprints, given that the practice of UX seems to be all about developing a vision for the product…and isn’t that like a spec? And aren’t specs waterfall? And we aren’t waterfall, we practice Agile Scrum. So…how does that fit with sprints and Scrum, and…isn’t there a conflict?

The “Spec”-ness of UX

The goal of a user experience team is to create a product vision, supported by and validated with user research. This vision reduces risk for the organization by defining the right thing to build for customers (vs. the wrong thing, which will miss the mark, be rejected, not sell, etc.). …

A longer, more detailed version of this article was published in UXPA magazine.

I did some light complaining on Twitter a few days ago. (Apologies for the format, please read from the bottom up.)

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Via my locked Twitter account. I do entertain add requests.

Twitter is optimized for grousing, and it’s always easier (and more fun!) to complain about a thing than it is to share useful information. So I’ll do my best to amplify a few points.

Making UX Happen

UX practitioners are sometimes tasked with making a product usable and beautiful, while being actively blocked from doing so.

This can happen because the organization they’re working with doesn’t realize that getting to a great user experience requires cross-organizational change, beyond just inviting UX practitioners to join the org. …

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The first-generation iPhone, in all its bricky glory. (Source)

When I’m asked to explain the ROI of user experience design, I usually talk about the iPhone, and how Apple walked through a giant hole in the market that nobody else seemed to see.

The Bomb That Was the iPhone

Before 2007, the mobile phone market was littered with products that promised long lists of features beyond just making calls (SMS, email, taking photos). They didn’t do any of these things very well, though, because most phones had numeric keypads and tiny, low-res screens, which limited the ability to actually, you know, use the features.

The Blackberry and the Sidekick were exceptions, in that they had real keyboards, and the Blackberry Pearl even offered a tiny rollerball as a mouse replacement. But mostly the industry seemed happy to offer features that were either very difficult to use, or accessed with an inferior approximation of a desktop UI. …

A version of this post was originally published in 8/2010 on Mobile devices have helped move people away from the fallacy of the fold since then (everyone scrolls infinitely on their phones and tablets, after all), but I still hear references to the fold every so often. Enjoy!

The “fold” is an inherently physical concept from the world of newspapers, the horizontal bit halfway down a paper’s front page destined to become a hinge. …


Anne Hjortshoj

UX leadership, research, and strategy. Bostonian, recovering English major.

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