I have been designing and building User Experiences for over 22 years. It’s been a long, strange time.
I started doing UX when it wasn’t being called UX by anyone but a few people out in Silicon Valley.
Since then I have designed experiences for:
- Cattlemen to buy and sell entire herds
- Inspectors to identify contaminants in Meat processing facilities
- The second-largest sports media company’s fantasy sports and games players.
- Shoe shoppers at one of the largest online retailers at the time.
- Doctors at one of the world’s most prestigious learning hospitals
So what brought me to UX?
I just happened to catch a segment on CNN about African park rangers and bushmen using PDA’s to do one of the first full animal census counts.
From an icon menu of more than 40 species, rangers record the number, health and behavior of the animals in eight national parks in South Africa. The information is linked to a satellite Global Positioning System, which park ranger use to keep track of animal movements and locations.
It was a turning point for me. The power that these devices could have to change people’s lives… I was hooked and haven’t looked back.
Totally unrelated image. This was the 1 royalty-free image Pixabay had of African Park rangers.
While I worked at cPanel we transitioned from traditional, or waterfall development, to SCRUM or Agile. cPanel was so onboard with SCRUM they paid for us all to be trained and certified SCRUM masters.
Now, let me preface by saying, as it was presented to me… SCRUM/ Agile, I have no place in that. I spent considerable time trying to figure out how and where exactly UX fit into the SCRUM/ Agile model, again .. as it was presented to me.
What I learned:
- SCRUM is not Agile. SCRUM is a brand like Coke or Pepsi is to soda.
- Agile has many different brands with as many different ‘methods’
Each time that Mr. Watanabe begins to craft a sword, he does so with the intent to craft the ‘Koto’, the perfect sword. He knows he will not succeed, but he will still have a finished product of the highest quality.
This short documentary about Korehira Watanabe and his swordmaking philosophy was my ‘connection’ to UX and it’s role in an agile environment.