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Extreme Programming vs. Interaction Design

article that i linked to yesterday. there are a bunch of great posts which serve as useful moderating voices in the face of an irrational exuberance for
extreme programming

this response

is a good case in point:

“It always seems like these guys are trying to defend the software practices of Kafka Software, Inc. I doubt, for example, that anyone at Microsoft or Adobe or Macromedia (or LucasArts or iD or Valve) would ever seriously propose programming first then designing. Maybe that’s why those companies are so successful and companies like Netscape can’t get rid of 7 year old software bugs. XP is a survival strategy for working within a wild beast. I think the statement that Interaction Design and XP can work together is like saying that recipes and napkins can work together: Napkins are useful for messy dishes, but you cant cook without a recipe.”

that said, i think it’s important to remember that xp does have something to offer and that good things can happen
when worlds collide


“A Web-centric system that’ driven by traditional programmers will quickly come to the point where those developers must come to grips with the details of the user experience, thus leading them outside their comfort zone (the realm of Java programming, for example) and into the issues of color theory, balance, and form. In the absence of specialized help, this will often lead the team to craft a beautiful, elegant product with the user appeal of a dead fish.

Similarly, a Web-centric system that’s driven by traditional graphic designers will quickly come to the point where those designers must give some life to their pretty pages, thus leading them outside of their comfort zone and into classic programming. In the absence of specialized help, this will often lead to systems with a beautiful presentation that, unfortunately, breaks every time a user clicks their mouse.

Culturally, it’s a challenge to mix these two disparate skill sets.”

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