By Yael Alpert, Katrina Berlin Benco, and Mundi Morgado

In today’s business climate, there is increased attention and urgency focused on creating and improving digital experiences. However, the absence of standards to organize these efforts can result in under-leveraged insights, unsupported teams, and inconsistent and complex experiences. This is particularly true for the Agile UX practice, which involves fast and effective direct interaction and cross-functional collaboration.

An Agile UX Playbook can help anchor decision-making in a rapidly changing business landscape. In the infographic below, we’ve outlined 8 critical components that your Agile UX Playbook should have. This playbook works as a dynamic plan to provide structure and consistency to your user experience efforts.

Click on the infographic directly below.

Text from 8 Essential Elements of Your Agile UX Playbook

1. Observe Your Users. Empathize with your users by observing them in their natural habitat. Then, create personas to summarize their goals, needs, behaviors, emotions, and pain points. Create user journeys to understand the steps the users take, and to align the new design with their goals, needs, expectations, and emotions at every step in the process.

2. Design the Experience. Create a navigational framework to help visualize the overall organization of the pages, features, and content. Create wireframes to illustrate the functions, navigation, flow, content, marketing placement, tools, etc. Aggregate interaction patterns into a pattern library to enable consistency and efficiency.

3. Plan and Execute the Visual Design and Brand Vision. Create a creative brief to align on the branding message and help leverage the visual design. Explore different creative concepts to see what manifestation of the brand and brand components best fit the experience. Finalize with one selected concept. Based on the creative concept, create a visual system of patterns and brand elements that is consistent and reusable. Aggregate all patterns into a living Interactive Style Guide.

4. Create a Content Strategy. Create a content inventory to make every page “accountable” for its content. Create a content classification to determine what is important to a successful experience on a web page. Create a content model to map out what you want the User Experience to be, and in what order. Finalize all into a content strategy to guide the user toward the final desired action.

5. Employ Technology Best Practices. Establish coding standards to foster code consistency. Establish a performance budget by getting designs into the browser as soon as possible and testing. Conduct a UI inventory to lay the groundwork to a sound design system. Distribute, automate, deploy.

6. Employ Responsive Design. Design for mobile first. Focus on content instead of layout. Embrace the fluid nature of the Web. Arrange the content in a grid that is able to adapt. Do not base breakpoints on specific device dimensions; these constantly change. Prototype, Test, Iterate: Move from design into HTML as early as possible.

7. Design for Accessibility. Enable the content to be accessible to a wider range of people. Provide text alternatives for non-text content. Make all functionality available from a keyboard. Make the text readable and understandable. Make the contrast ratio adhere to standards.

8. Align with your Team. Create a ‘Sprint Zero’ Plan. Create an Agile UX and development process. Define Sprint 0 activities. Conduct a prioritization and roadmap exercise to define MVP. Create an interactive pattern library and style guide. Organize Your Team Using Agile Design and Development Practices. Form complete cross-functional teams. Build backlogs. Design works a sprint ahead, but collaborates with development. Deliver working tested software. Remove impediments.

In Conclusion. For a successful Agile UX Playbook, align your teams around strategies that involve the best practices, processes, and activities we’ve mentioned. Following these steps will result in cohesive, consistent digital experiences.

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