What is extreme programming?
Extreme programming is a subtype of the agile development software process and is designed to improve the quality of the software based on customer responses that initiate rapid creation and results: the user experience feedback is used to provide “frequent releases” of software in short, developmental cycles. Extreme programming as a concrete method is new, but its strategies are old-hat in the world of user interface design (User Interface Design, UI Design). Extreme programming takes all the tried and true best practices of UX/ UI design and, perhaps for lack of a better term, takes them to the extreme. In this article I will discuss the extreme programming process as well as the pros and cons of the method.The extreme programming process in user interface design
Extreme programming is a discipline designed to maximize the potentialities of the UI designer, customer, and product to produce higher quality software and a higher quality software experience; all are partners as part of a collaborative design team. The crucial component of extreme programming is using the benefits of collaborative teamwork to ensure the frequent release of software versions that can then be tested and modified by users and UI designers alike.
Extreme programming is flexible in terms of how each individual team decides to implement the method, but there are generally four phases that need to occur in order for the process to be categorized as extreme programming:
Additionally, there are five values associated with extreme programming. The above mentioned phases should be heavily influenced by the following five values:
Thus, extreme programming is a process that puts an extreme emphasis on the relational aspect of user interface design, particularly in reference to the users. Since users are given a much larger stake in the user interface design (User Interface Design, UI Design) process and are able to request changes in the products they are using. Since extreme design promises the output of fast and frequent versions, the method facilitates user interface design requests well. Extreme design is a good method to use if you have a team that you can compile that will work together cooperatively and with the same level of commitment. It is also a method that best suits the needs of smaller projects with smaller groups of users very well—the extreme nature of the relational design approach could be overwhelming if executed on a massive scale. Typically, a group of twelve or less is recommended for extreme programming.Benefits of extreme programming in UI design
The hallmark benefit of extreme programming is customer satisfaction and an efficient user interface design based on an intensive level of stakeholder collaboration. Extreme design lends itself best to projects on a smaller scale and it allows the principle of user experience feedback to flourish, as users are given more power than just simple feedback—they are invited to ask for changes and contribute ideas. Since extreme programming is flexible in terms of the nitty gritty of its implementation, it is also an inviting user interface design method because those involved need only stick to the phases and principles of the process. They can design the way they carry-out the method in any way that they see fit.Drawbacks of extreme programming in user interface design
Naturally, as with all methods, extreme programming is not for everyone. It does not suit large scale products or user interface designs and it requires a very cooperative team and environment, because giving users the room to make frequent demands for new versions of a UI design can become problematic and a major headache for designers if users take this freedom too far. It also requires a high level of relational skills from all team members, and sometimes this is hard to find in reality. Extreme relationship building
Extreme programming is a valuable design method that can be used to strengthen a user interface design as well as the design team’s collaborative skills. It is a relational model that challenges people to be as cooperative as possible for the good of the user interface design. While extreme programming can be used for designing products for external customers, another interesting variation of the method is to use it as a team-building exercise among a company’s internal design team. For example, if an internal design team creates a user interface design and then keeps it as a pet project to assist them in building their design and relational skills, this practice method might translate to greater success as the design team tackles projects aimed at the external world. It is always good for user interface design teams to improve their development skills as well as building their relationships with each other. Either way, extreme programming is a valuable tool that can be implemented in many variations for a better product and a better experience.
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