The main presentation was followed by an "open spaces" forum, which features three (rotating) people speaking on subjects that the greater group suggested and voted upon. Anyone can step into the middle conversation and (always) this produces informative conversations. Tonight's discussions were on the realities of starting projects with Objective C vs starting with Swift and then we discussed testing techniques. It's always great to hear folks asking and talking about user stories, wireframes and test scripts.
Once a month, I co-host the ATL Mobile Dev meetup with Pratik Patel of TripLingo. Our event is great, of course. Not just because I'm a part of it, but because we cover a wide variety of mobile topics ranging from development and design to marketing and finance, presented by some rather fantastic (local and national) speakers.
This Wednesday we heard from Patrick Seda who spoke on the importance of design in software development. Perhaps controversially, he advocates for a blend of waterfall and agile which allows for "some" design upfront so that development isn't starting from a totally blank canvas.
Of course, he was specifically talking about software design patterns, more so than UX and visual design. Either way, I agree - you must have some idea of what you are creating before you start building it.
Traditional waterfall steps of gathering business and technical requirements and then crafting rough ux & visual design concepts (and prototypes) based on those initial assumptions are critical steps in the creation of ANY product ...even when implementing extreme programming methodologies. This work, services SimplyInteract provides, helps to win stakeholder approval, test usability and guide development teams toward software solutions that actually solve client business challenges. That said, the amount and fidelity of design documentation is relative to the speed and frequency of your teams development iterations - ranging from whiteboard sketches and paper prototypes to heavily annotated decks of wireframes and in-depth user testing.