Agile development is becoming increasingly popular. Among the different agile methods most companies use some form of Scrum. The integration of UX into the agile development cycles has been investigated and many ways to integrate has been suggested: parallel UX, one sprint ahead, including the UX specialist in the scrum team, etc. Still these suggestions seem to not to solve the main issue of getting the user research into the sprints. Reported problems are among others: understanding customer and user needs, differences in work practice, too late or no UX work, and lack of UX competences.
What if there is a somewhat simple solution that is not much reported on, only slightly mentioned in the literature, but has a big effect – using personas for user stories.
We have conducted research in integrating UX in agile development and have seen the above-mentioned problems. This led to new research with large Danish corporations in using personas for user stories. We have furthermore interviewed a UX designer and a developer who, in 2 different finalised projects, experienced success and failure respectively in using personas for user stories.
I will talk about what happen with the user stories when you use personas, what works, what doesn’t work, and discuss if this could be a way of integrating user research into the sprints.