One Product Owner’s Journey

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Our latest experience report, Partnering to Improve Usability, shares the story of how Krystina Edwards became a better product owner after putting aside some preconceived notions. Krystina writes, “When planning our engineering applications, the product owners (mostly other engineers) never thought about how easy or intuitive our software was. We were only thinking about whether or not the software solved the underlying engineering problems that the users would face. The differentiator in our software was its ability to solve advanced engineering problems.”

Initially, Krystina’s subject matter expertise and eagerness got in the way of her seeing and appreciating usability problems her users were having. After some hard knocks, she decided to work harder at collaborating more effectively with her UX team. And that effort paid off.

Krystina reflects, “Ultimately, we learned a humbling lesson: As subject matter experts we have an instinctive bias that we were injecting into our designs and influencing user test sessions. We realized the value of the design team’s expertise and that by partnering with others to design our software we can achieve better UX outcomes.”

Now Krystina and the UX team bring their joint expertise to work on product design. Usability has improved, and Krystina and the UX team continue to learn much from each other.

About the Author

Rebecca is President of Wirfs-Brock Associates and former Director of the Agile Experience Report Initiative. She helps organizations and individuals hone their design and architecture skills, improve system quality and manage technical debt. In addition to coaching and mentoring she conducts workshops on agile architecture, design heuristics, and pragmatic software design. She invented the set of design practices known as Responsibility-Driven Design (RDD) and by accident started the x-DD meme.

Rebecca is also a shepherd for the XP 2023 Experience Report Track. She is on the Board of the Hillside Group and writes patterns and essays about sustainable architecture, agile QA, and design heuristics. If you want to share experiences or wisdom in pattern form, Rebecca can help you turn your itch for writing into the written word.
Read her blog at and find articles and patterns and essays on her resources page,

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They do not represent opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

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