It was once accepted that a User Interface only needed to be functional. Bugs against the UI were considered minor or cosmetic problems. This meant that UI issues were usually de-prioritised and the focus was solely on ensuring that the software was functionally sound. Bugs like text overspilling from a dropdown box or a distorted layout in a particular browser were overlooked. This might’ve been thought to be inline with the Agile principles, as Agile says that delivery earlier is better than waiting for perfect software, but it meant that the end users suffered; the real customers of the software. And if users don’t like the software, they won’t want to use it.
However, over time, the UI gained recognition. Further to looking better, efficiencies could be gained from User Experience. We began to see ideas of user journeys aligned with business process, and more intuitive to use software was produced. Development teams began to employ UX specialists, sessions would be held to review UX, and development included a UX focus. For a while, selling UX capability was a big thing… but then it just became the norm. This has resulted in companies now offering UX By Default.
It’s now a big deal if you don’t consider the UX. If you developed an eCommerce site that worked on computers but not mobiles, you wouldn’t last long in business!
Specialists are still needed, but not siloed away in an expert team to be available as loan requests when needed or sold in as extras. The delivery teams are now UX aware, working alongside the experts and learning from them. With everyone considering the UX at all stages, it’s no longer an afterthought or someone else’s responsibility.
As a separate note, at Naimuri we find the visualisation of requirements capture via wire-framing allows everyone to see the system before it’s developed, helping both the UI aspect and UX. It also helps to reinforce the requirements. We’re big fans of visualisation.
So after UX By Default, Security became the next differentiator. That’s a similar story where secure software was a specialist job in the team, often with a single team member being responsible for enforcing patterns and solutions. Now, it’s becoming the entire team’s responsibility, with OWASP awareness and secure development training being commonplace. Testers now consider weaknesses to help the team identify security issues. Again, not waiting until the end of development and considering it as an afterthought.
Every software development team is expected to produce a secure system with a great UX, both By Default. Failing that is not acceptable, this is now an expectation.
Now it’s DevOps By Default. Currently we see specialist roles for DevOps Engineers or Cloud Developers. People don’t want outages, downtime, or a slowdown in performance. It should be a rapid turnaround for changes. Customers want DevOps By Default.
Any system must work well for users, be secure and follow a DevOps approach. What’s next?
Ultimately, great teams need many skills and not just coding expertise. At Naimuri we mix domain experts with knowledge of UX, secure development and Cloud so that we are truly cross functional. This allows for an environment that fosters knowledge sharing, with individuals learning from each other. This results in everyone acknowledging these “By Default” requirements throughout, producing a higher quality delivery.
At Naimuri our teams are “By Default”. This means opportunities to be involved in so much more.