Tampere University of Technology

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Integrating UX Work in Agile Enterprise Software Development

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages296
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-3605-2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2015
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
PublisherTampere University of Technology
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


Agile development methodologies have become the norm in software development. Simultaneously, user experience (UX) has become an increasingly important factor in the success or failure of software systems. However, agile methodologies do not give guidance on how to conduct UX work. Companies encounter challenges in UX work despite the previous academic research activities in order to integrate UX work with agile development practices.
This doctoral thesis investigates how to integrate UX work as part of agile development of enterprise software, where other factors such as business benefits often overrule end user needs. The thesis studies tasks and goals of which agile UX work consists of, challenges companies encounter while integrating UX work with agile development, and actions that support the integration. This thesis consists of nine publications and an introductory part. The research has been conducted in seven Finland-based international large- and middle-sized companies over the years 2011 to 2014. The research approach of the thesis is inductive, aiming at explaining and structuring the studied phenomena based on empirical findings. The research consists of three rounds of studies utilizing both qualitative and quantitive methods. The main data gathering methods include surveys and interviews. Most of the study participants were agile projects’ team members, but also end users and other roles significant to research and development activities in companies.
The main contributions of this thesis address the research questions of challenging issues in the integration of agile development and UX, tasks and goals related to UX, and activities that support the integration. We present a framework called BoB (Best of Both Worlds) for integrating UX work in agile enterprise software development. While most of the previous models for agile UX concentrate on integrating the role of UX specialist responsible for the UX work, BoB approaches the integration via UX tasks and shared ownership of the cross-functional team including software developers and UX specialists.
The results convey the conclusion that agile UX work should be collaborative effort with several contributing roles. BoB structures UX work via UX tasks unlike the previous models for agile UX work and partially merges upfront design work with development iterations.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland