Extreme Programming vs. Interaction Design

Elden Nelson moderates a discussion between Kent Beck and Alan Cooper in, “Extreme Programming vs. Interaction Design.”

Of course, as an interaction designer, I’m biased, but Alan makes a much better argument for Interaction Design than Kent Beck does for Extreme Programming. I especially liked Alan’s words on how creating a place for Interaction Design in an organization gets to the root of many of the problems with interactive systems design, while Extreme Programming merely provides a buffer for engineers and programmers within a process that is clearly sub-optimal.

3 thoughts on “Extreme Programming vs. Interaction Design”

  1. Did the point about hierarchical vs. networked social structures come through in the article? To me that’s the heart of the debate, not the techniques in question or the different skills and audiences.

  2. Wow, was that the real Kent Beck? If so, thanks for stopping by!

    I didn’t mention this in my post, but I used to work for Intel, where I spent most of my years as a programmer.

    I can sympathize with the positions that programmers are put in and completely agree that the communication during product design must NOT be hierarchical.

    The more I think about it your use of the word hierarchical highlights your concerns that interaction designers not be placed higher, organizationally, than programmers. If that was your concern, then yes, I did get that from the article.

    I think your reaction to Interaction Design as it came out in the article is understandable and, while cautionary, not overly reactionary. I’m glad you had the discussion with Alan Cooper.

    I still don’t think Extreme Programming is a viable solution if your goal is to create a good end-to-end product design/development process, but I also wouldn’t immediately attack the suggestion of its use. It addresses some valid concerns by a very important part of the design/development team.

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