Notes Antic Disposition

Experiment Driven Development

Assaf Arkin talks to InfoQ about experiment driven development. I was particularly struck by the concept of the code base itself becoming adaptive:

Metrics and experiments are part of the code base, they’re checked into source control, they’re run through testing and staging.

I'm not so sure about the post-agile epithet, but arguing over methodology and terminology is really missing the point:

EDD and TDD are complementary. Without TDD we wouldn’t be able to do just-in-time development, rapid iterations and run multiple experiments. Without EDD, we could end up developing high-quality bullet-proof code that nobody cares about. EDD helps us find the secret ingredient to an awesome software.

I'm excited to see the beginnings of a movement beyond A/B testing, towards real adaptive design - the idea that applications can learn and transform according to direct feedback from usage patterns.

This is indicative of a new skillset for interactive designers, who must now take this direct evidence into account with every design variation that affects user flows. At the same time, designers must not lose their ability to follow their intuition and focus attention on unity, balance and harmony. Creative possibilities are stifled when decisions are driven by data alone.