Seven Slides and a Fight:
How Extreme Programming improved our user-centered design process, but not our social skills

Victoria Bellotti, Nicolas Ducheneaut, Mark Howard and Ian Smith (PARC)

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University October 4, 2002

The subject of this talk is the recent experiences of a small team of engineers and fieldworkers at PARC of moving from a more conventional style of user-centered iterative design and prototyping to extreme programming (XP) as a means to integrate ethnographic fieldwork and feedback from using prototypes with engineering and design. We specifically focus on the different perspectives we all have, as user or customer representatives, designers and engineers, of the pro's and con's of XP for user-centered design. Normally this causes a fight about a lot of contentious issues that we have encountered, which we will be happy to share with you.

Victoria Bellotti is a Senior Member of Research Staff in the Computer Science Lab at PARC. She studies current and prospective technology users trying to understand their work-practice, their problems and their requirements for future technology. She also works on analyzing existing or proposed technology design for utility and usability and on finding ways to improve designs with user-centered innovations. Victoria studied psychology, ergonomics and HCI at London University in the UK. After that she worked at Xerox's Cambridge Research Lab (EuroPARC) for five years. She came to the USA in 1994 to work in Apple's Advanced Technology Group for three years before moving back to Xerox to work at PARC in Palo Alto. Her research interests include Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Computer Mediated Communication and Ubiquitous Computing.

Nicolas Ducheneaut is a research associate in the Computer Science Laboratory at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Information Management and Systems (SIMS), University of California, Berkeley; his research interests include computer-supported cooperative work, computer-mediated communication, and the social impacts of information technologies in organizations.

Mark Howard came to the United States from London, England where he gained an MS in Computer Science at University College London. He is now a member of the research staff at PARC, the Palo Alto Research Center. His primary role is software engineer on projects concerned with developing experimental software systems.

Ian Smith is a member of the research staff at PARC Incorporated. His work focuses on the integration of software development tools and practices with ethnographic techniques in user interface development. He has published numerous papers in conferences such as the ACM symposium on user interface software, ACM conference on computer supported cooperative work, and the ACM conference on human computer interaction. He currently has eleven United States patents pending. In 1998, he was granted a Ph. D. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. He lives in San Francisco, California with his wife, Valerie.


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