Agile development on a real project (we do Kanban)
Long time no posts about ToDo area re-design, so back on track. In December we completed the dynamic prototype:
It was created in SketchFlow tool by Microsoft. Then we had the first formal usability tests on mere mortals (developers and testers from our company). 7 problems were found during usability testing (check usability test report (PDF, 900K) if you are curious).
Here is the conclusion from the usability test report:
This pilot testing of prototype by 5 people was extremely useful and enough to expose rather evident gaps and problem of implemented concept. After these issues are corrected, we will bravely start testing it with our customers.
However, from my point of view, this particular prototype has some disadvantages:
1. It’s very high level. From time to time during the testing we would say: ‘This is only a prototype, disregard this’, ‘Ooops , this doesn’t work, it’s prototype’. I guess we would have had different test results if we had a little bit more real proto. Our respondents would have been able to use different workarounds. But in this version of prototype they could perform only those actions which we had defined and covered by scripts related to scenarios. Anyway, they couldn’t look for a workaround and missed the new functionality because they had no choice.
2. Several of our respondents complained that actions are not marked out enough and are not easy to find at a glance.
— Nadia Bulynia
In general, we are happy with the results, but should find a better prototyping tool. It took too much effort to create the prototype using SketchFlow. Moreover, it is incomplete and has serious limitations mentioned above.
In the end of last week we shared new ToDo list concepts with TargetProcess UX group members. We have some feedback already, but it is interesting to receive more.
So what do you think about these ToDo list concepts?
Concept 1 (Clickable PDF. You may click on links that has dashed border)
Concept 2 (Static PDF)
Last Friday we discussed another ToDo list concept. The idea is to provide something similar to Kanban Board for personal tasks management, but more flexible.
Flexibility may be provided via custom grouping. For example, person may group tasks by user story vertically and by time frame horizontally and see something like on the wireframe below:
You may select another grouping, for example, by state, or by tag, or by custom field. As we see it will provide grate abilities to plan personal work with very creative patterns that we can’t even imagine. Maybe it is too complex, we are not sure so far. We’ll have usability testing phase on ready prototype to evaluate this solution.
Drag and drop may be used to plan personal work from backlog.
Yesterday we’ve created wireframes for the fist ToDo list concept. The main ideas is to have 3 areas for Today tasks, Tomorrow tasks and Later tasks. Use drag and drop to plan tasks for today or move them later. No calendar view, just plain list with 3 groups.
There were debates around Tomorrow tasks. Several people think that this group is not required and Today/Later will be sufficient.
Also this ToDo list provides an ability to see other people’s ToDo list as well as group tasks by various parameters. Time grouping is default (Today/Tomorrow/Later), but also it is possible to group by User Story, Project, Type or other properties.
Today we’ve had the first design session of the new ToDo area. We’ve put together the list of items and actions and discussed potential ToDo layouts. It was boring initially, but the closer we moved to wireframes, the hotter discussions :)
We are incorporating UX practices into our development process. It is not so easy, the first attempt was with Eclipse plugin. Second one is ToDo list re-design. I don’t know what will be the end result. Maybe we will merge several screens into one (for example, Time Sheet and ToDo list), maybe something else, but we are starting from scratch and focusing on the needs of real users. We are going to write scenarios for all personas, create flows and wireframes, create prototypes and test them on real customers. Let’s see how it goes.
Recently we’ve had a series of meetings dedicated to Personas. There were several testers, several developers and product owner on the meeting. We’ve spent about 5 hours in total and here are some results.
Personas important for ToDo list are marked with a green circle. Manual Tester is selected as a key persona (double circled).
Andy is a serious geek. It was easy, since we have a former game developer on board :)
Everybody agreed that Alan is a true designer. Someone even said that he knows a very similar guy working as a web designer.
And our development team likes the approach.