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Integrating User Experience (UX)Development with Agile SoftwareDevelopment Practices.: A Multiple Case Study Involving Organizations DevelopingInteractive Healthcare Technology (IHT) Applications
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Context. User Experience has become key to product development in recent years, as manyorganizations have realized its role in maintaining high user acceptance ratings. User ExperienceDevelopment and Agile Software Development are two highly iterative processes and user-centricprocesses. While both methods stack up well theoretically, there are many challenges encountered whenthey are integrated together in real-world development scenarios. Similar to Agile development, UserExperience Development, has many phases: performing user research, gathering UCD (User-CenteredDesign) requirements, iterating design activities, and performing usability evaluation through user tests.Executing both processes in parallel and mapping their corresponding phases is a major issue andapplying these principles in development environment is even more challenging. This integration bearseven more significance in the field of healthcare technology, where user-centered requirements ofpatients and medical practitioners need to handled systematically, as there are a wide range ofspecifications that cater to unique individuals. Hence, a case study was conducted in two majororganizations involved in the development of Interactive Healthcare Technology (IHT) applications.

Objectives. Through a case study, the author attempts to investigate the factors that influence theintegration between UX development and Agile methodologies. These factors include the contemporarytools, processes and methods (TPMs) that are being used integration and the challenges that persistwhen it is applied in industry. The study aims to analyze the Agile-UX development approaches of twodistinct organizations, involved in the same domain, to get an understanding of the mentioned factors.

Methods. The multiple case study was conducted through interviews, surveys and direct observation.The qualitative data analysis of the surveys was done through thematic analysis. Quantitative dataanalysis was performed on the data gathered from the surveys. A literature review was conducted priorto the case study to gain knowledge on this issue, which also partially answers the research questions.The case study design was kept consistent across both organizations.

Results. Through the results of the case study and a literature review, current UX development practicesin the industry have been identified. The challenges encountered at both case organizations have been studied. These results are further validated and contrasted with the results of the literature review.Following, a retrospection of the methods employed at the case environments, a set of recommendationsfor better integration was generated. A detailed comparative analysis of Agile-UX integration at twoorganizations has been documented. At the end a generic framework has been proposed based on theanalysis of results acquired.

Conclusions. Numerous conclusions were drawn from the results and data analysis. Several challengeswere identified through the study, in addition to those suggested by relevant literature. Some of thesewere uniquely prevalent in the field of IHT development. It was found that dynamically changing usercenteredrequirements and late integration of usability and UX development with Agile practices werethe most profound challenges. Adoption of UCD techniques such as Design Studio played a positiverole in easing integration. Usability evaluation and user research are also major factors in the integrationprocess. Lack of time to iterate design and issues in scheduling and performing usability testing had abig impact. Involving users in the design and development process from an early stage is essential toensure high usability and good user experience of the product. The framework designed to counter thesechallenges, takes into account, all these aspects to provide a meticulous Agile-UX integrationframework. Some key conclusion drawn from this framework, are that the application of the “One SprintAhead” approach diminishes many challenges, while performing usability testing in parallel withsystem testing can support integration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 82 p.
Keyword [en]
User Experience, Agile Software Development, Usability, User-Centered Design
National Category
Software Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-13511OAI: diva2:1049900
External cooperation
HiQ AB; EVRY Healthcare AB
Subject / course
PA2534 Master's Thesis (120 credits) in Software Engineering
Educational program
PAAXA Master of Science Programme in Software Engineering
2016-09-28, J1650, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Karlskrona, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-11-28 Created: 2016-11-25 Last updated: 2016-11-28Bibliographically approved

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