Cover page by Marc McNeill, Lindsay Ratcliffe

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Is agile anti-design?

Often the first thing designers notice about agile is that there is no design phase. Instead, they see that agile projects dive headlong into development, giving no credence to a designer’s belief that design is an essential part of the product development process. What a designer sees are multiple, ridiculously short deadlines where working software is delivered and no consideration is given to the multitude and complexity of the essential design activities. As a result, many designers—believing that design will be severely compromised—go straight into defensive mode.

Agile has openly declared that it is opposed to big, up-front design, which sounds like a criticism of design. This is a position that can leave the uninitiated ...

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