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What Is Agile Design?

Learn about agile design from graphic design consultant Chanelle Henry in this Howcast video.


What is agile design? While it may have a lot of different definitions, the best way that I can describe it as, it's designing collaboratively with everyone that pretty much matters. So, starting from the beginning, where it's the client, the stakeholders, the agency which may be you or may not be you. Making sure that you understand the requirements for the design, making sure all the designers are together, the art directors, the developers.

What used to be done back in the day was something called a waterfall process. So it's almost like, "Okay, I baked a cake. Now I'm going to run it over to this person so they can put some icing on it." But the person wanted to use chocolate and then you made a carrot cake, and it doesn't work because you didn't communicate.

So, agile design is one of those things where from the beginning everybody has a point in it so that you can almost own it as your own. As well as understand all the scopes of the project in order to create something that is not only beautiful, but that makes sense.

So, whenever you hear of an agency or anyone that does agile design, that's a good thing because you know that you're constantly communicating. You're constantly testing out. You're constantly basically checking in and making sure that everybody is working together rather than handing it off to their own separate cold rooms to create a design that may not make sense because there wasn't much communication.

One of the tools that we love to use is Base Camp because you get to see a really good idea of everybody that's involved. So, you have the project manager that basically sets up the project that is in constant communication with the client to be able to set up those meetings, those appointments. And gather all the assets and everything that's needed to be able to communicate effectively between the designer, the developer and business analysts, the copywriter.

There are a lot of people that make up the team. But the majority of those people are usually in their own teams as well. So you'll have the design team which will function with the art director, the interactive designer, the graphic designer, the production designer.

You have the development team which is the front and the back end of development. Then you have the project manager as well as the copywriter that more so works with the UX team which has the wire frames and the user study.

All these people need to have a conversation with each other and the best way to do that is usually through a nice project management tool such as Base Camp or any other alternative which may or may not be free. But the cool part is that collaboration helps you to feel more a part of the project, and then also get to see everybody that's a part of the project as well, so you don't feel isolated.

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