A Gamified Framework to Integrate User Experience into Agile Software Development Process

Alhammad, Manal M. (2020). A Gamified Framework to Integrate User Experience into Agile Software Development Process. Thesis (Doctoral), E.T.S. de Ingenieros Informáticos (UPM). https://doi.org/10.20868/UPM.thesis.66064.

Description

Title: A Gamified Framework to Integrate User Experience into Agile Software Development Process
Author/s:
  • Alhammad, Manal M.
Contributor/s:
  • Moreno Sánchez-Capuchino, Ana María
Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Date: 2020
Subjects:
Faculty: E.T.S. de Ingenieros Informáticos (UPM)
Department: Lenguajes y Sistemas Informáticos e Ingeniería del Software
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

While the significance of integrating User eXperience Design (UXD) with agile development processes is underscored in the literature, there are yet challenges and issues that must be resolved to achieve a seamless integration process. Those challenges range from practical issues such as the lack of technical means in terms of supportive tools or artefacts, to more fundamental issues such as the complexity of building a shared understanding of the User eXperience (UX) vision among the entire agile team and organization. Those issues do not necessarily imply that the integration of agile and UX is infeasible, but rather point to areas in which further research is needed to improve the integration process. In this respect, we saw an opportunity to contribute to improving the process of integrating UX practices into agile by addressing one of the reported challenges in the literature which is the lack of prioritizing UX aspects compared to functional aspects. Recognizing the importance of incorporating UXD into agile as a team culture, this thesis aims to design and validate a framework to help agile teams to develop a motivated mindset towards UX activities. Following Design Science Research (DSR), this doctoral work began by identifying, describing, and analyzing the challenge of focusing on functional features over UX features in agile teams. We essentially found that the prioritization of functional features over UX features embodies a set of issues and it represents a recurrent obstacle when integrating UX with agile. Among those issues are the lack of motivation towards UX work, resistance to change, and the curse of knowledge in which agile teams think they know better than the user. To address this challenge, we proposed a gamified framework to integrate Lean UX into Scrum, called “GLUX” (Gamified Lean UX). The goal of our proposed framework is to motivate and engage agile teams to carry out UX activities collaboratively and develop a user-centered mindset using gamification. The choice of gamification as a motivational technique is primarily based on the hypothesis established in the literature that gamification has potential in influencing human behavior in general, and in promoting software engineering best practices in particular. In validating our proposed framework, we conducted a pilot study to primarily examine the effectiveness of GLUX in terms of usability and utility in promoting and developing a motivated mindset in agile teams towards UX. Three agile teams consisting of software engineering graduate students participated in the study, simulating a real-world agile project. Our data collection occurred through student surveys, unstructured interviews, and the analysis of projects reports. Preliminary results suggest that GLUX can be effective in facilitating the integration process by engaging Scrum teams in carrying out UX activities throughout the development process. However, similar outcomes cannot be guaranteed if the GLUX framework was to be applied into a different context or when not implemented as specified. Nonetheless, key observations have been reported in the form of lessons learned. We mainly found that the team’s collective mindset towards UX work can sometimes override the individual’s mindset, and that it can be influenced by a variety of factors such as the knowledge and experience in UX. We have also discussed some of the challenges that can emerge from managing the integration of agile and UX as one process such as the difficulty to incorporate UX activities and development work in short iterations. Finally, we highlight that gamification can be susceptible to the “novelty effect”, and that some game elements (e.g. challenges) can be motivating and de-motivating at the same time. ----------RESUMEN---------- Si bien en la literatura se subraya la importancia de integrar User eXperience (UX) con procesos de desarrollo ágiles, aún existen desafíos y problemas que deben resolverse para lograr un proceso de integración eficiente. Esos desafíos van desde cuestiones prácticas, como la falta de medios técnicos en términos de herramientas o artefactos de apoyo, hasta cuestiones más fundamentales como la complejidad de construir una comprensión compartida de la visión de la experiencia del usuario entre todo el equipo y la organización ágil. Estos problemas identifican áreas en las que se necesita más investigación para mejorar dicho proceso de integración. Esta investigación aborda uno de estos desafíos, concretamente la necesidad de priorizar los aspectos de UX en comparación con los aspectos funcionales en el desarrollo ágil, lo que implica a su vez abordar, por ejemplo aspectos como la falta de motivación hacia el trabajo UX o la resistencia al cambio. En este contexto, esta tesis doctoral tiene como objetivo diseñar un marco para ayudar a los equipos ágiles a considerar la UX como elemento guía del desarrollo ágil. Siguiendo Design Science Research (DSR) se ha propuesto un marco gamificado para integrar Lean UX en Scrum, llamado "GLUX" (Gamified Lean UX). El objetivo de GLUX es utilizar gamificación para motivar e involucrar a los equipos ágiles a realizar actividades de UX de manera colaborativa desarrollando una mentalidad de UX que guíe y motive el desarrollo ágil. La elección de la gamificación como técnica motivacional se basa principalmente en la hipótesis establecida en la literatura de que la gamificación tiene potencial para influir en el comportamiento humano en general y para promover las mejores prácticas de ingeniería de software en particular. GLUX se ha aplicado en un estudio piloto con el fin de analizar su efectividad en términos de usabilidad y utilidad para promover y desarrollar una mentalidad UX en equipos ágiles. Tres equipos ágiles formados por estudiantes graduados de ingeniería de software participaron en el estudio, simulando un proyecto ágil. Se han recopilado datos a través de encuestas a los estudiantes, entrevistas no estructuradas y análisis de informes de proyectos. Los resultados sugieren que GLUX puede ser eficaz para facilitar el proceso de integración al involucrar a los equipos Scrum en la realización de actividades UX durante todo el proceso de desarrollo. Estos resultados, aunque alentadores son preliminares, requiriéndose replicación tanto en contextos similares como diferentes. Además de estos resultados preliminares, se han identificado importantes lecciones aprendidas relacionadas con el uso de la gamificación en el desarrollo de software, como por ejemplo, el efecto de la mentalidad colectiva del equipo en relación con la mentalidad individual; el efecto de las iteraciones cortas que guían el trabajo ágil sobre la integración de UX; o el posible “efecto novedad” del que puede ser susceptible la gamificación haciendo algunos elementos del juego motivadores y desmotivadores al mismo tiempo.

More information

Item ID: 66064
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/66064/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:66064
DOI: 10.20868/UPM.thesis.66064
Deposited by: Archivo Digital UPM 2
Deposited on: 05 Feb 2021 09:34
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2021 09:34
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