Saturday, August 20, 2011

From Agile Development to "Alive Development"

Om Malik and others have recently blogged about the emergence of the "Alive Web" - which is all about the live interaction with others, the real-time, the here-and-now. has been one of the representative example of it, and also Chatroulette.

People talk about how Google Plus also supports this trend, giving the Google+ Hangouts as example. I agree the Google+ launch has taken the Alive Web one giant leap forward - but for me the major "WOW" moment is not about any of its end-user features like Hangouts, Huddles, or the new Games. What is the most amazing leap for me is Google's "Alive" development and iteration of the Google+ product.

I have NEVER seen any company be as open and as interactive about feature and UX design of a product in the scale of Google+. This is not about how high-ranking Googlers are publically active on the product while some exects of other companies that don't use their own product (+Thomas Hawk mentioned Carol Bartz doesn't have a Flikr account). I am talking about how, from day one, the Google+ team is in the frontlines, using the product itself to generate a live conversation with the users, eliciting feedback through the feedback button, posts that ask about general or specific feedback, responding to user's posts about suggestions and/or complaints, or holding public hangouts for Q&A. Every few days we see another post and video with new features, directly responding to user comments and requests. Some recent examples by product manager +Shimrit Ben-Yair, designer +Jonathan Terlesky, and software wizard +Andy Hertzfeld, herehere, and here
This is way beyond the traditional "agile development" methodologies. This is a near-realtime development cycle, with continuous user engagement, feedback, and response.
What we're seeing here is the Alive Development of the Alive Web.


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