Enter The 3 Amigos
A product owner, software engineer, and a QA engineer walk into a bar…
The 3 Amigos is an exercise born out of automated testing. A product owner, software engineer, and QA engineer sit down at the beginning of each sprint to outline a set of scenarios describing how a feature should work.
Because everyone is involved, the risk for miscommunication is low.
Let’s pretend we are working on an interface where users can apply a “Score” filter to their search results.
A scenario might look like this:
- I click on the Score filter and a dropdown appears showing a slider.
- “1” and “10” are selected by default. The submit button is disabled.
- I then drag the left slider to “6” making the score 6 to 10.
- The text input below updates to display “6” and submit button is now active.
- I click submit and the dropdown closes.
- My search results are now updated.
A Simple Exercise For Sharper Designs
Start Writing Scenarios
First, instead of 3 amigos, let’s make it 4 amigos.
The UX designer should be the one driving the conversations about interaction design.
Second, why wait for the work to be accepted into a sprint?
Writing out scenarios as I design interfaces has made me a better designer. It’s a quick way to test that the proper UI paradigms are being applied, things are flowing properly, and all states are being considered with minimal overhead.
Scenarios also help identify any specifics I’d like the developers to be aware of:
- When portions of the page should reload
- How form elements should act
- Notifications / visual queues to be used and when