Why design is important for success?

written by Aleem Khan on February 19, 2013 in Agile Development with one Comment

Last night, I listened to Mary Popendieck’s opening keynote speech that she delivered at the ‘Agile and Beyond’ Conference. She stressed that design is important for success, and I agree. She emphasizes that design needs to be considered early in a project, even before addressing architecture or coding. Here are some of her key points:

Agile teams have passed the buck on design, making it somebody else’s job, and that is a mistake. Design is essential, and before we can think about making a working code, we should consider the design of the product. Architecture is obviously critical but even before addressing that, we should present the experience to the user, so that the user can provide early feedback. Design should be discussed early in the project.

But obviously, this suggests a question: What are the steps to producing good design? Popendieck recommend watching your users and listening to your users and figure out what their needs are. Where are they struggling? Very often, the root problems are hidden, and good design requires digging and experimenting.

The second critical step is ideation, to find out what’s more important, and what’s less important. The last step is building and quick prototyping, to field test potential designs.