Accounting for User Research in Agile

Summary: Along with design and development work, research efforts need to be represented in an Agile backlog to enable teams to focus on continuously learning about users throughout the project.

User research and Agile are not always the best of friends . Agile development often focuses on building features and breaks down work into bite-sized pieces. User research isn’t always tied to a single feature, which makes it difficult to fit perfectly into two- or three-week increments (the typical sprint duration). How can we fit user research into an Agile framework?

User Research in Agile Is a Challenge

Typically, in Agile environments, user research (such as user interviews , usability testing , and diary studies ) is approached in the same way in which the team approaches building new features: by dividing it into bite-sized chunks of work that produce something tangible.

This type of thinking leads to many challenges:

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