EuroIA 2015

Madrid, 24 – 26 September


Working Agile at the European Commission: the EYD2015 Website

A talk by Koen Peters

In the summer of 2014, we partnered with a web integrator to design and build the website for the European Year for Development 2015 (, a collaborative platform to publish stories from the field on development and announce events related to the theme year. In a first phase, we created an IA and design for the site. Then, the integrator took the lead and developed the site in agile sprints, with us in support.

The website is now running successfully, with many partners publishing stories and events related to EYD2015. It was an exciting project to work on, and here are a few things that I think are worthwhile sharing with you:

  • The peculiarities of working for the Commission: the bureaucracy, but also the joys of working for a truly international team.
  • The challenges of multilingualism (a site in 23 languages!) and the politics of geography (never assume a list of countries is a simple thing).
  • Interesting deliverables: ‘Wireflows’ (=thumbnail size wireframes showing connections between pages) as a first step in the functional design, and ‘Style Cards’ as a first step in the visual design.
  • Working agile in an environment like the European Commission, and the importance of a capable product owner at the client side.
  • How to work together as a UX designer with a web integrator and fit in an agile development track: what must be ready before the first sprint? Once the front-end code is ready, do you still need to keep wireframes up-to-date? And by the way, is front-end coding design or development?
  • How to keep track of feedback and design comments, and at what point do you need a true tracking tool (like Jira) instead of Word and Excel?

Koen Peters

Koen is an information architect at, a human-centered design agency. He is usually working on web and intranet projects for governments, banks, the European Institutions… He is also the internal coach for a number of Namahn designers and organizes Information architecture trainings at Namahn. Koen enjoys discovering cities on a bike and is passionate about singing Bach’s Saint-John’s Passion.

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