Enterprise Executive 2017: Issue 2 : Page 13

work necessary to measure the success of the user experience. Creating bite-sized artifacts like prototypes is much more effective for a designer to quickly learn if generated ideas solve problems for the intended audience (personas). This process is repeated until the designer learns enough to either start building a minimum viable product or pivot in a different direction. This iterative approach can be described in three steps that are the essence of Agile design: build, measure, learn. Agile design doesn’t stop when development begins. That’s a Waterfall mindset. Designers continue to build, measure and learn during development. Agile teams show their work at sprint reviews that are held at the end of each sprint. This gives UX designers, customers and other stakeholders the opportunity to provide valuable feedback on the usability of the product. Usability issues, technical obstacles and new and better ideas spring up. As Steve Jobs said, “There’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it.” Get feedback from your potential customers and target personas at every opportunity: during discovery (vetting ideas), design (prototype reviews) and development (demos and usability testing). Whether the feedback is positive or critical, it’s extremely useful in making decisions to tweak, pivot or forge ahead. Give New Developers Modern, Familiar Tools Developing and designing modern and delightful tooling falls on the shoulders of mainframe software vendors. So, if you’re in a mainframe organization, what should you expect from your software vendor? Mainframe development teams are rapidly hiring new, younger faces to offset the retiring workforce. Thus, the demands on mainframe development teams are greater than ever. The tooling that software vendors provide mainframe organizations with for their developers should be delightful, familiar and should put them in a flow state, enabling them to be as productive as possible. Modern tooling that is familiar, leverages strengths of platforms like Eclipse and web, provides application understanding, etc., is vital to helping your developers more confidently develop delightful software for their customers. As mainframes become more essential to the stability of customer-facing applications and, therefore, face bigger demands, mainframe teams have the onus of adopting tools to help onboard new developers. But it’s the job of software vendors to provide customers with a delightful UX that enables that transformation. By developing and designing in an Agile and collaborative way, there is always something to learn, build and measure as you make changes toward a delightful UX. EE Chris Malin is a UX designer at Compuware. He has worked for over 20 years developing and designing software for mainframe developers. Email: chris.malin@compuware.com 2017: Issue 2 | E nt e rp r i s e E xe c u t i ve | 13

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