User Centred Design & Agile

Agile and IdeaSmiths

Agile is great. We love Agile.

Agile is a very good vehicle for user centred design but Agile is not intrinsically user centred design and get easily become as technically and business focussed as waterfall. IdeaSmiths brings the right skill sets so that your design process remains focussed on user needs and stays user centred.


We are experts in user centred design with our background in applied social science, psychology and ergonomics. One of our partners did his first usability test in 1985 and first public sector project in 1988. We have seen the whole rise of technology in the workplace and out of it from 80 by 40 green screens to the latest apps on the latest smartphones.


We have additional skills in team working and organisational culture change which will help your teams work well together and your organisation achieve the full benefits of adopting Agile. We make the change to Agile painless.


We can help with User Experience Capability Development

If you are setting up your own UX and user research team in house we have the knowledge and experience of capability development to help. This includes cost benefit analysis, tool selection, staff selection, internal marketing, competency modelling and integration with existing IT strategy processes.


We can also provide coaching and training to existing and new staff so that your capability matures in the right direction and no bad habits are picked up.



User Centred Design Process

User Centred Design Process

What is User Centred Design?

The international standard ISO 9241-210 outlines the principles and activities that are the foundation for user centred design:

  • The design is based upon an explicit understanding of users, tasks and environments.
  • Users are involved throughout design and development.
  • The design is driven and refined by user-centred evaluation.
  • The process is iterative.
  • The design addresses the whole user experience.
  • The design team includes multidisciplinary skills and perspectives.


IdeaSmiths can help you deliver on all of these principles and activities. We can support the whole life-cycle from concept through discovery to alpha, beta and go live.


And if you need us to we can also sprinkle the user centred design magic into your waterfall process.


We are familiar with a range of Agile methodologies and have worked successfully within the UK Government Digital Service guidelines and manual and have helped projects through their gates.


UK Government's GDS Process for User Centred Design

UK Government’s GDS Process for User Centred Design

We understand the whole of the user experience and can help you with full service design ensuring that all the touch-points are understood and user needs are put first.


We like technology and we love ensuring that users can use it and that it does what they want and need it to.



    ideasmithsllp @ideasmithsllp

  • Contact us …

    phone-blue-28x28 +44 (0)114 2492312

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  • What they say ...

    We have found IdeaSmiths' advice invaluable ... their understanding of how local government looks at business and their connections with decision makers is excellent.

    Mike Morton, Airport Director, Robin Hood Airport
    Peel Airports Group

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