One of the things I was quite surprised about at XP Day was how little talk I found around integrating design and development. I suspected at first that this might be because (a) there's no hard-and-fast rules or (b) everyone was sick of talking about it and going round in circles, but Joh corrected me. I should've proposed an open space about it, but a combination of being fascinated by everything else there and a little ill on the morning of day two put a stop to that - ah well.
I'm doing a talk at UX Matters in January, and I think I might try and draw together a few lessons we've learned over the last few years at FP. In the interests of massaging these into a coherent form, a few thoughts:
- I don't think that designers and developers are as far apart in aspirations as they're sometimes presented. I don't see a love of documentation, or producing documentation, from either side. Good people from both disciplines relish communication, create models and prototypes, and accept change (often managed through iteration).
- My own output gets better when I work collaboratively and with folks from different disciplines (usually pigeonholed as design, development and business). I don't believe I'm atypical here.
- The terms "design" and "development" are each placeholders for a set of activities, some of which are more easily estimated and managed than others.
- Design, development and the business are heavily intertwingled: decisions made in one area frequently impact on the others. Reducing the cultural or geographic distance between them speeds decision-making.
Oh, and if you get a chance avail yourself of a copy of HCI Remixed - it's a series of essays from top-notch HCI types (Bill Buxton, Scott Jenson and Terry Winograd all stood out for me) on works that influenced them. Very dip-innable, and a few gems here.