Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Tumblr, Wordpress, Flickr? It goes without saying that Agile is best for some, not for others, but I'm just kinda wondering...

The developers in my organization has the leadership drunk on releasing quick products and apparently I'm the only one who cares about the quality of the products we're releasing b/c I want the necessary time to research, concept and wireframe. Why? Because I care about your experience with the product I'm designing.

The process >> let's release a product, as quickly as possible, without researching our users, without concepting out ideas, without wireframing the flow, design by committee to which not even the tagteam of Jakob Neilson and Edward Tufte could explain their way out of, develop it speed racer style, release it to actual users (little to no testing), then make revisions (sorry, iterations...1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc) based on actual user feedback.

Man, I bet you guys can't wait to use our products! I promise they're going to be the supa rad ultra fantabulous singleclicker to the webosphere!!

Every mine listed is what I'm experiencing. It's super fun time. http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/bringing-user

  • On the pluside you guys have an awesome elevator pitch, you just have to rename your Org. Waterfall: We bring the 70s back to YOU
    – Ben Brocka
    Sep 20, 2011 at 19:06
  • You would be better off asking this question at Programmers. Sep 20, 2011 at 19:33
  • Well, I didn't exactly say I was pro-waterfall. I do enjoy parts of the Agile process, like the lack of requirements, just not the lack of time to research and concept. Especially since we already have a very large user base.
    – Pixelist
    Sep 20, 2011 at 19:44
  • 1
    @Pixelist - since when does Agile have a lack of requirements? That's not true in the slightest.
    – Charles Boyung
    Sep 20, 2011 at 20:19
  • Wait, is this question the question in the title, or about the problems with your company? Those seem like two different things, even if you are using one to lead in to the other.
    – mattdm
    Sep 22, 2011 at 2:48

3 Answers 3


What you describe is not a proper agile environment, which does have multiple releases of small functionality, but does not mean that you release to the public poor and untested code. In fact, quite the opposite - untested or failing code doesn't make the release.

I think there is a question in here that fits to UX - for example, how do you manage UX work in an agile environment. It can work, but it needs to be done properly, not just an excuse to put out poor and untested work. So I think you need to apply proper agile/scrum techniques, not some half baked version.

  • I'm with you - I'm not against Agile in the slightest, and in fact, I really enjoy the lack of requirements and quick prototyping. My issue is squarely around the lack of time to research and concept to make sure we are releasing a quality product. Unfortunately, the developers are dictating the process right now so I suppose I just wait until it fails.
    – Pixelist
    Sep 20, 2011 at 19:40

Yeah, just to reiterate what has already been said, what you are describing is not "Agile". Agile development focuses on delivering set units of work in a set unit of time using a specific methodology. It does NOT mean delivering a new product with each cycle, or even something that would qualify as a "version 2.0".

On your side (UIX), remember that what you do can still be broken down into estimate-able units of work. You might be delivering mock ups, prototypes, user testing results or something else during your sprint, but it still comes down to units of work that you have committed to completing in X time.

  • Interesting.. thanks for the reply. I am hoping our process molds into what you are describing.
    – Pixelist
    Sep 20, 2011 at 19:50

There is this unfortunate myth in agile circles that you should do no upfront work and you should deliver something by sprint 1. Thats not a good idea. Fortunately, there has recently been some interest in integrating UX with agile. Here are some links to get you started

The key really, is to do some upfront planning, but not too much. Just keep it lightweight and keep integrating it along the lifetime of the project.