Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Technologies in Egypt e-government services

Here are the answers in response to the question:
How do you feel when all Egypt e-gov services are based on Microsoft, Oracle & IBM proprietary technologies?

Yasser Makram: This is the difference between employees and visionary leaders, an employee will go for the safe option and the big name not to get fired. A visionary leader will take risk and value the independence from proprietary companies and invest in the growth of local talents.

M Tantawy: this makes one feel "e7na mad7ook 3alena gamed" :S

Heba Ammar: Thrilled when the website loads then extremely frustrated when I discover that the services i want r not working ! irrelevant answer but this is what pops up in my mind whenever anyone mentions egov services

Mohamed Elnady: 3ady , mezabateen

Ahmed Abdelhameed: I feel that we rock :P

Amr Aboelel: popular commercial technologies ya mouneer! there is no trust in Egyptian S/W (if any) :))

and more to come on this topic ...

Monday, March 8, 2010

chronicles of a UX and agile project: from early failure to "disputed" success

This is the synopsis for the experience report I submitted to agile2010 conference. Please review and send me your feedack
The report will show an interesting experience for an agile project with “disputed” success; with the biggest winner being UX user experience. The chronicles will tell the story from RFP all the way through the second successful release; the challenges, failures, and successes of an agile method. What will be highlighted the most is how agile and basic UX practices were utilized to discover the users real needs and their barriers to accept a new enterprise system. This report touches the importance of team unity, team members qualifications, and the concept of agile generalized specialist.

Learning outcomes:

How UX can succeed with agile
Qualified general specialist UX designers/developers are pivotal for project success
How to be prepared for agile to expose problems early
How root cause analysis is needed in dealing with challenges in agile teams
How to facilitate effective discussion on the what and how of features between customer, UX designer and team

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"Developers" for Human-Centric Applications

A great software community event just took place in Cairo, CairoCodeCamp where Yasser Makram and I got the chance to introduce the concepts of experience (UX) applications and how to think of their development as craft-based practices to achieve the right balance and satisfy user needs.

We tried to avoid the use of terms agile or lean till the end of the session in order to have attention focused on UX and the definition of developers. We referred to a developer as any member in a software development team where everyone is sharing in the development of a successful solution that achieve the balanced richness and reach to its intended users.

We also built on Alan Cooper's ideas about how the UX designer/developer needs to be committed to the creation of the software just as any other member in the team particularly the programmer; and what they need to do to achieve that. We emphasized that Rich User Experience is not always about beauty, not always about having a lot of features, not always about fancy animation , and certainly not always about absolute ease of use. We put together a definition for the term that it is the complete human experience that is enriched through the interaction of human senses and sufficient use of SW, HW, and effects.

We added that in anything we do or make there are 3 aspects:
• Mechanical aspect
• Mental aspect
• Emotional aspect
And we craft a software solution for success we need to think of the three aspects.

There are many technologies, platforms and tools for creating rich UX applications and products, we must not get stuck on certain path but we need to make the choice that helps:
• Achieve the right experience
• Multiple levels of experience
• Pay attention to the difference between the 1st experience and the continuous one
• And always be directed towards serving the user needs.

Finally we showed a high level description of a process for creating great UX applications based on Jeff Patton's recommendations and our recent successful experience.

Thanks for everyone who attended the session and we are really thrilled for the overwhelmingly positive feedback from Adel, Walaa, Ahmed Shreef, and MemoZiner .

The presentation is available for download as PDF here.