Agilewords Blog

Agilewords June release #2 (screencast)

  • By Fabrice Talbot
  • July 05, 2010
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Listening to user feedback and being able to quickly turn it into product improvements that are beneficial to everyone is an integral part of the agile development process. That’s what we accomplished with the introduction of video tutorials in this new release.

A few weeks ago, a user from a very large corporation (perhaps the acronym ‘Big Blue’ rings a bell) asked if we could improve the online help system for first time users. Clearly, one should be able to use a web-based application without previous training.

We always take great care at designing simple and usable UI pages. However, every user is different. While some like to jump right into the application and experience it first hand, others prefer to go through an online tutorial before they get started.

After some internal brainstorming, we reached the conclusion that we should provide online video tutorials and an online help system of ‘How to’ articles. While the idea looked great on paper, it became another important item on our product backlog - tutorials are not something you create overnight!

Luckily we were wrapping up our ‘new dashboard’ sprint. Since we were not able to complete all our user stories (i.e.: features), we decided to schedule a two-week sprint (i.e.: release) to add the first video tutorials and wrap up on the new dashboard. That approach also fits well with our agile methodology (small iterative developments with fully functional product releases).

So how did the video tutorial turn out? Pretty well we think but we’ll let you judge. Here’s the ‘How to post a message’ video tutorial for your review.

We have right now four video tutorials. We’ll add more in the next releases. We also plan to introduce ‘How to’ articles in a couple of months.

The bottom-line:  thanks to our agile process, we are able to answer requests for improvement in a matter of weeks. This flexibility is key to supporting our user community and adapting our product to their needs.

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