User experience professionals are engaged before, during and after the development process. While agile does not alway incorporate UX well, the UX process is agile. We aim to fail early and incorporate the subsequent learnings to improve products and services.
The Double Diamond is the best representation of the UX process I have found so far. This newer version of the diagram adds in the circular, cumulative nature of UX work, although there is also research that determines what challenge is addressed which should be located inside the circle at the level of engagement and leadership.
The two primary types of user research occur within all phases of this process.
Each step of the research process determines the next in a lean fashion. For example, the plan determines the test assets, which determines the format of the results.
The reseach plan is a collaborative effort to prioritize "what we need to know" to enable data-informed decision-making.
Approved research plan
Make test assets such as a script, notes template, prototype and/or setup of an unmoderated test
Approved test assets
Distribute unmoderated studies and facilite moderated tests.
User-provided raw data
Identify patterns in the data and report findings including key observations and actionable recommendations.
Research report in research repository
The most important part of the research is getting all stakeholders for a live presentation and discussion of the results.
Next steps to incorporate insights
"In product and service design, the absence of user research has a technical name: Guessing."
– Jared Spool
melanie at melanieclarke dot com