I am aware about the iterative model of software development life cycles. However, I have been Googling around and trying to find out more about various of tools that can be used in a software development project. All of this, of course, taking into the equation (i.e. consideration), along the way, in each stage, three variables: usability, efficiency, and effectiveness. Also, can a tool be used in every stage?

Source: https://airbrake.io/blog/sdlc/iterative-model

The phases:

  1. Planning & Requirements
  2. Analysis & Design
  3. Implementation
  4. Testing
  5. Evaluation

Looking forward to reading a good answer! I have been reading some on the subject and googling around. But I thought I ask here. Maybe other folks know more and even know various of tools.

PLEASE: Do not migrate. This question is related to UX.

EDIT I GIVE AWAY 50 points to any canonical answer here, so please feel free to share.

  • 1
    Hi John, I think this question is much more related to Software Engineering than UX. Specially when you're talking about tools that can be used in all the different phases of software development. UX tools will help us in early stages, but for implementation, testing and evaluating we need other tools. In the team I am working we use Azure DevOps and it works pretty well, but there is no link to UX but software engineering. – LinoBordin May 6 '20 at 11:06
  • Hi Lino, thanks for your answer. But, this concerns the following: usability, efficiency, and\or effectiveness, and I thought, it would fit here. Mainly because I am wondering about these three variables. – John Smith May 6 '20 at 13:47

At my last job we used Jira to keep track of our projects. Each of the phases you described above can be implemented in this tool and it's very usable, efficient and effective.

Project managers and scrum masters create the high level features and tasks for each requirement (also called epics and stories). The tasks or stories then are given high level development estimates by testers and developers and anything that requires UX/UI gets a "Needs Design" label in the story/ticket. Any of the "Needs Design" tickets cannot be estimated until UX adds the designs to the ticket and then they can be moved into an active sprint.

During each two week sprint or development cycle, stories are brought into the current sprint cycle and assigned to developers. The points across all tickets has to be equal for each developer. If not - tickets are reassigned accordingly. Jira also measures velocity so scrum masters are able to compare how many story points are closed each sprint and release - this helps plan for future work better.

If a ticket has a "Needs VQA (Visual Quality Assurance)" label, developers have to review their work with UX before the ticket can be considered done. This is a way for UX/UI to get a chance to review a developer's work so that if it isn't implemented correctly, it can be reworked. Once developers are done with a ticket, a ticket is created for testers to test the ticket and then pass it to done.

If there is any feedback from customers during the evaluation phase (before the software is generally available), then a customer request or bug tickets is logged and assigned to that sprint or future sprints depending on priority.

My UX team also uses Jira to keep track of our work although we don't add points to our tasks/stories. It is a way to see what everyone is working on. We have four phases: To Do, In Progress, Validation, and Done.

The "To Do" phase includes everything from project design work to training. During the "Validation" phase, at least two other UX designers have to review the work before it can be considered done.

I'm sure there are other tools that can do similar functionality but Jira seems to be a tool that can be used by both UX teams and software developers.

Usability - Easy to learn - Allows creation of custom tags(eg. needs design, needs vqa, needs testing) - Search by keyword or ticket number - Create custom JIRA Boards for each project team - Easily manage ticket statuses by either dragging and dropping tickets on the main board or changing the status within the ticket (to do, in progress, validation, done) - Create sub-tasks from main tasks and assign yourself or someone else to the tasks - Easily add images by dragging and dropping them into a ticket - List item

Efficiency - Story points for each task allow easy roll up of points per individual person, sprint, and release - this helps with forecasting how much work can be allocated to a team in the future - Epics for high level features can be created for future work and helps crate a backlog of work that can be brought into active sprints - Burn down charts are available for each sprint and release - Users can "watch" a ticket and get notified by email any time there is a change - @ mention features alerts a user that they have been tagged in ticket via email - Filter by custom tags quickly or custom search filters

Effectiveness - Multidisciplinary tool used by product management, UX/UI, developers, and tester - Can be extended to be used by UX/UI teams for project management - Custom tagging allows for important design quality checks - Easy overview of full product lifecycle

  • This is interesting, thanks for your reply! What more can you share? – John Smith May 7 '20 at 16:01
  • @DiffentByDesign, could you share more, I'd like more details, thanks a lot. – John Smith May 8 '20 at 7:13
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    @JohnSmith absolutely. There are quarterly meetings where project teams reviews the products features for the next release at a high level. There's one day for project release overviews where upper management has the chance to ask questions, another for epics and story review and lastly a day to discuss areas of concern which are tagged as either owned, accepted, mitigated, or resolved. At this point, the scrum masters have already created the epics and stories for each high level feature. Then, product teams meet to add points to the tickets. – DifferentByDesign May 8 '20 at 15:20
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    Other functionality that I find helpful in Jira include: Filtering tickets to find ones with just your name, add custom tags, "watch" a ticket so you can track the progress of a ticket, and @ someone which will send them an email notifying them that they were tagged. I hope that's useful. If you want more information on something specific, please let me know! – DifferentByDesign May 8 '20 at 15:23
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    @JohnSmith I added it to the main comment - thanks! – DifferentByDesign May 8 '20 at 21:14

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