UX in the City: Takeaway Pack

Catching Rainbows with Porcupines

UX in the City Takeaway Pack

Thank you for taking the time to come and see our talk. Some topics are too big to cover in adequate detail in just one talk, so we created this ‘sensory pack’ to try and expand on an important subject and offer you more avenues for learning.


We’d welcome more questions if you want to touch base with us. You can find us at the following places:


Stephen Thomas Sarah Plant  
Twitter: @dubaussi Twitter: @PlantSarah
Blog: dubaussi.uk Blog:https://medium.com/@PlantSarah
I also co-run DOPM (www.dopm.co.uk) if you ever want to meet face to face and I am co-admin of the DPM Slack channel if you are interested in connected with other digital project managers



We’re not saying we’ve nailed how to mix UX with Agile. What we have done is learned a lot of hard lessons and come to realise that there’s a lot more that agencies and professionals can do to share their approach of how they tackle this complex and tricky subject. There is no ‘one right answer’ or ‘special sauce’ – ever process needs to be adapted for the people,  tools and culture with which you work. However, we can all learn from one another, so with that in mind, here is the detail on how we manage UX within an Agile framework (specifically Scrum in our case).


Our Agile Project Process (Macro view)

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 22.25.18


For us, a lot starts with the sale. If your sales team or your account managers aren’t talking about the value of UX from the start, you will always be on the back foot – having to explain yourself at every occasion rather than doing your job in a supportive atmosphere. Likewise if you’re only meeting the client long after the project has started – then that’s a red flag too.

Next we have discovery. This is when we workshop, user story map and use whatever techniques we know to really understand the vision – and to challenge it – to make sure it makes sense from a business, technical and design viewpoint

This then blends into what we call runway. This phases encompasses  everything that needs to be done to make you ready to start It might be user research, persona writing, empathy mapping, style tikes, sketching or mapping out the user flows of complex systems

Once we are ready we begin the build. Sprints are normally run in accordance to Scrum.

After the build we have a review. This is not always the end of project or launch, but.more a wrapping up of one phase and a collective decision as to where we go next based on budget, time, commercial factors and the state of the product.

We’ve come to this model over multiple iterations and attempts. It’s currently working for us but it’s not a one size fits all. Your own process probably differs from this. And while this works very well for large projects it’s not the process we’d use on a small 3 week marketing site build.


Our Process (Sprint Micro Model)

We mapped out our Sprint Process and within that revealed some key needs from each discipline.


Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 22.30.20


  1. We realised that we had to have front load as much design work as possible at the start of the sprint or developers wouldn’t have time to complete the build – this changed the way we resourced our design time during builds.
  2. We realised design reviews were far more effective during the second half of the sprint than working with high fidelity comps. There just isn’t always time – this changed the way we work and the fidelity we design to for certain items.
  3. We realised that the team needed to have some idea of what might be coming next, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to task up at the start of the next sprint. This let to s sprint refinement meeting where we meet as a team with the client to talk about what their next priorities might be without fully committing to anything.
  4. We could clearly understand the value of limiting work in progress and only working on the minimal number of stories at one time. Multiple stories in progress creates a testing bottleneck for our tester.
  5. We also started to see how we user testing can fit alongside this, though not every project has the luxury of an easily accessible user-base who can provide feedback rapidly.


Process can obviously vary on project to project to meet the specific needs of that project. In general our story sign off process is along these lines.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 22.35.23


If you’d like to know more about the work we do and ask questions relating to design and UX in sprint. Or if you’ve addressed these challenges in a different way then why not join us for an informal hangout where we will be asking and answering further questions around this topic. You can sign up here and we’ll contact you with further details.:




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