"Agile Software Development and UI Design: a Match made in Heaven?"

Who: Robert Biddle, Carleton University

When: March 25, 2008

For much software today, the UI is a critical factor for success. The user interface and the interaction that it enables have a major impact in the effectiveness of software in actual use. While agile development addresses issues on the technical and business aspects of software development, little has been said about the UI. In fact, principle and practices in UI development have much in common with agile principles and practices. They are both driven by external needs, they both have a strong and early commitment to testing, and they are both iterative in their approach. There are some differences: agile development has a focus on the customer, while UI development has a focus on the user. And where they share terminology, it is not clear they mean the same thing: for example, both use the word “design”, but take very different perspectives. The key question is how these similar processes should work together. To address this question, our research group has studied many software teams around the world doing both agile software and UI development. In this talk, I will present our findings about current practice, and identify opportunities for better collaboration in the future.

Speaker Bio

Robert Biddle is a Professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada: he is on graduate faculties of both Computer Science and Psychology. His research and teaching is in human-computer interaction and software engineering, involving active projects on agile development, computer security, and collaborative hypermedia. He earlier worked as a software developer and as a technical consultant. He is widely recognized as an outstanding researcher, educator, and presenter.