The research presented in this thesis provides empirical data on how work practices and processes related to user experience (UX) are integrated with Agile software development processes in real-world projects. Agile processes do not inherently provide rules or guidelines for how or when UX-related activities should be conducted, and the Agile/UX integration field of study investigates how the two may best be combined.
Five case studies have been conducted as part of the research. Two of the cases focus on integration in Scrum projects, two focus on integration in Kanban projects, and one focuses on integration in a "general Agile" project. All of the cases involve multi-year projects with mature Agile teams. As the Kanban process is fairly new in a software development context, little empirical research exists in this area in general, and previous empirical studies of Agile/UX integration in Kanban projects have not been found. Detailed descriptions of all the cases are presented in the Results chapter.
A systematic search of relevant literature shows that suggested approaches to Agile/UX integration mostly follow the "parallel track" model, in which developers and UX designers work in separate, parallel tracks. Designs and specifications are created one or more cycles/sprints ahead of development, and completed features are validated and tested one or more cycles/sprints after development. A short up-front analysis/design phase is usually recommended. Effective use of the model requires using "lightweight" UX techniques like paper/low-fidelity prototype testing, RITE testing, lightweight Personas and informal cognitive walkthroughs.
The study results suggest that the parallel track model is better suited to describe integration in settings where fixed time boxes are used, as in Scrum, than in settings where time boxes are flexible, as in Kanban. Future work in this area may benefit from developing and using additional, alternative models to describe and study integration.
A set of general advice targeted at process designers based on study results is presented in the last chapter. An important element to be considered when designing an Agile process is to allow for design iteration based on feedback from UX testing and evaluation. Ideally, the process should have a built-in loop at regular intervals for gathering feedback and for acting on the results.