The Ultimate Scrum Guide for UX Designers

Scrum and user experience (UX) are considered to be opposites. Like fire and water, they do not go very well together. However, with both Scrum and UX getting more and more mainstream every day, the only thing you can do as a designer is work together regardless of your differences.

The ultimate scrum guide for UX designers

But why? Why do a lot of people think Scrum and UX are so hard to combine? Let’s take a closer look.

Table of Contents

Time management and increments

Your design is never done. You only have to decide on a moment where you’re going to agree on the version you want to push.

Differences between Scrum and UX

How you manage your time is just one of the ways Scrum and UX differ from each other. There’s more. Some are Scrum related while others originate from outside of everything Agile and Scrum-related.

How UX fits into Agile and Scrum

It’s challenging to be a UX designer when there’s no definition of UX in an otherwise very well defined framework.

Scrum and UX are more alike than you might think

Scrum and UX collaboration


Iterative way of working

Creating value

Putting it all together

How to work with Scrum as a UX designer

Scrum and UX teamwork

You will encounter a lot of naysayers in your journey of building a shared mindset for Scrum and UX. It will be hard. You will make mistakes. I know this because I’ve come across the ‘Scrum versus UX’ discussion on many occasions myself.

To help you out, I have a few tips, tricks, and best practices on how you can incorporate your UX process within Agile and Scrum. These are based on my own experience.

Do your UX design work one sprint before the development team needs your design work

Don’t work on the same user story as the development team

Scrum and UX working on the same user story.

What to do instead

Try and work (at least) one sprint ahead of the development team. I’ve mentioned the definition of ‘ready’ criteria before. They will help you immensely. If you manage to design and validate your feature beforehand, you might make the next sprint goal without issues. Another way is to have a designated design sprint where you complete your base design work before the development team starts their work.

Do your work together with the development team

Design review meetings

Team building

Design sprints are divided into two parts


Profile picture of author Nick Groeneveld, a senior UX designer and mentor for The Designer's Toolbox

About the author

Hi! I'm , a senior designer from the Netherlands with experience in UX, visual design, and research. I have completed a wide range of projects in finance, tech, and the public sector.

Take a look at my LinkedIn and Medium for more.