Introduction to Volume 8, Issue 3

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With this issue we begin a series of editorials and peer-reviewed articles on how user experience methods fit into an Agile development process. We are pleased to have an editorial by Diana DeMarco Brown, author of the 2012 book, Agile User Experience Design: A Practitioner’s Guide to Making It Work. She describes five myths about integrating user experience into product development in Agile environments. Among other recommendations, she urges practitioners to take advantage of the interactive communication that Agile provides to build trust within the development team and to fit in more customer feedback than with traditional methods.

We also have a peer-reviewed article on a hybrid approach to usability testing in Agile design and development environments. Jen McGinn and Ana Ramírez Chang describe a method that combines components of the Rapid Iterative Test and Evaluation (RITE) method and practices proposed by Steve Krug in Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems. The streamlined method allows a user experience team to conduct a RITE-Krug test every two weeks and to obtain feedback on more aspects of the product than with previous methods.

Our second peer-reviewed article is by Carol Righi, Janice James, and colleagues. Their article describes in detail how to analyze the data from a card sorting activity. Card sorting has been used by user experience professionals for decades to get users’ input into requirements and design decisions. It is now the method of choice for designing the information architecture of a website. While there is voluminous literature on card sorting, most of it focuses on the data-gathering process and what to do with the results. This article fills a hole in the literature by addressing the step-by-step details of how to organize, structure, and label the content of a website to create an efficient navigation structure.