AgileUX: the ultimate in user-centred software engineering?


Adequately addressing the users’ perspective is critical for software system success, and a user-centred design process is fundamental to achieving this. However, the best approach to integrating user-centred and HCI concerns within software engineering has been the subject of investigation for many years, with varying success. In recent times, the advent of agile software development has reignited the debate and injected a different flavour to the discussions. Has this change of focus towards rapid iterative development in software practice produced the ultimate approach to user-centred software engineering? In this talk I will discuss current trends in AgileUX, introduce some of the challenges faced by practice, and consider why researchers might be interested in the area.


Helen Sharp is Professor of Software Engineering at the Open University, UK. Helen’s research focuses on the study of professional software practice with a particular focus on human and social aspects of software development. She has been conducting qualitative studies of software practice since the early 1990s, and has adopted techniques and theoretical frameworks from other disciplines such as distributed cognition, cognitive dimensions, and technological frames. She is very active in both the software engineering and interaction design (HCI) communities and has had a long association with practitioner-related conferences. Helen is joint author of one of the leading textbooks on Interaction Design ( now in its third edition. She is associate editor for Transactions on Software Engineering, a member of the Advisory Board for IEEE Software, and reviews for many journals and conferences. For more information see

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