Scaling design the way

Here’s a fantastic, frank and inspiring 20-odd minute talk from Stuart Frisby, Director of Design at, talking at Clearleft’s Leading Design conference recently.

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How to identify when agile isn’t working for you (and what to do about it)

Dilbert Does Agile
Dilbert Does Agile

I’ve now had the pleasure of working with five different kinds of agile in different companies with different teams and different cultures.

It’s hard to make an objective assessment of a methodology’s impact when you’re using it and doing your darnedest to make it work. However being critical of ‘normal’ practice is a default for me. And I have reason to suspect that teams use agile to paper over the cracks of poor leadership, bad practice, and poor discipline.

During this time working with agile teams I’ve identified a few areas where you can quickly tell if things aren’t working, and what you can do to turn things around.

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Getting the most impact from user experience

Over the past 10-15 years, the practice of user experience within organisations has matured significantly. But why do some organisations get more benefit from UX than others?

The answer stems from how UX is positioned within the organisation, how the organisation measures the success of its investments, and how UX groups seek impact. Those who report having a high degree of impact behave differently to those with low impact.

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The thought before the click: the locus of attention

This is the second in a series of fundamental user experience concepts useful for understanding people’s behaviour when using the web and mobile.

Scrabble Pieces VectorLet’s play a little game.

  1. First, think of your first name.
  2. Now, think of the last letter of your surname.

Neither of these are difficult tasks, but it takes longer to complete the second than the first. This is an illustration of the difference between conscious and unconscious thought. While your first name springs to mind immediately, you had to work a bit harder to come up with the last letter of your surname.

Meanwhile, when you were completing the tasks you had to switch your attention from this page to the task and back again. In doing this, you had to adjust what’s called your “locus of attention”.

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