Talking agile usability at UCISA 2016 conference

This year’s UCISA conference is being held in Manchester from 16 to 18 March. I’m contributing a ‘university showcase’ in which I’ll talk through how we use collaborative usability testing as part of our development processes.

Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association is a bit of an unappealing mouthful, so most people just say UCISA (you-size-ah). The organisation “represents almost all the major UK universities and higher education colleges… interested in information systems and technology in UK education, providing a network of contacts and a powerful lobbying voice.”

Various parts of the University contribute to this network. Most notably, colleagues in Information Services and Student Systems won an award in 2014 for the development of the PATH tool.

Staff news article about the University winning the UCISA Award for Excellence 2014

“Staying user focused in an agile development process”

The synopsis for my talk is:

“When you have a wide range of options to improve a system or a website (or indeed a lot of voices calling for a range of features), you need a way to easily and collaboratively identify where to spend your time and effort. What will bring most benefit to most users? What would be the best ROI for your efforts?

The session will run through the collaborative usability testing methodology used by the University of Edinburgh team in the development of their new Drupal-based CMS. You’ll learn how we set up and executed these sessions, and how findings were analysed and collaboratively prioritised, all within a 3 hour window on a monthly cycle.

The technique is a great way to get a diverse group of stakeholders round the table, facilitating a shared focus, and bringing the end user to the fore. It can fit into any development approach and adds value regardless of the frequency of sessions.”

The conference line up looks really good. Hope to see a few colleagues there.

List of all university showcase sessions at UCISA 2016






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