Lean UX is focused on the experience under design and is less focused on deliverables than traditional UX. It requires a greater level of collaboration with the entire team. The core objective is to focus on obtaining feedback as early as possible so that it can be used to make quick decisions. The nature of Agile development is to work in rapid, iterative cycles and Lean UX mimics these cycles to ensure that data generated can be used in each iteration.

Lean UX Process

Vision, framing, and outcomes

Start with assumptions instead of requirements. Create and test hypotheses:

  • Assumptions: what we believe to be true
  • Hypotheses: more granular descriptions of our assumptions that target specific areas of the product or workflow
  • Outcomes: the signal we seek from the market to help (in)validate the hypothesis
  • Personas: models of the people for whom we believe we are solving a problem
  • Features: the changes or improvements we believe will drive the outcomes we seek

Collaborative design

  • Everybody gets to design
  • Low fidelity artifacts increase collaboration
  • Build shared understanding

Techniques:

  • Design studio
  • Style guides and pattern libraries
  • Collaboration for distributed teams

MVP’s & Experiments

  • Determine product focus: deliver value or increase learning
  • MVP: Do people need it? Will it provide value? Will it be usable?
  • Prototype: Who will interact? Learning what? Time available?
  • Experiments without prototypes: email, google AdWords., landing page, a button to nowhere

Feedback and research

  • Collaborative research techniques
  • Continuous research techniques (3 users every Thursday)
  • What to test, what results to expect
  • Incorporate the customer’s voice
  • A/B testing
  • Reconcile contradictory feedback

Basically, the whole idea behind Lean UX is to be as efficient as possible. The goal is to reduce the amount of time that comes with writing the traditional UX documents and spending long hours analyzing different cases in a meeting. Instead, the team focuses on regular interactions with real customers through UX interviews and early testing.

Jeff Gothelf, Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience

Design only what you need. Deliver it quickly. Create enough customer contact to get meaningful feedback fast.

Principles

  • Cross-functional teams
  • Small, dedicated, colocated
  • Progress = outcomes, not output
  • Problem focussed teams
  • Remove waste
  • Small batch sizes
  • Continuous discovery
  • Getting out of the building
  • Shared understanding
  • Antipattern: Rockstars, Gurus & Ninjas
  • Externalising the work
  • Making over analysis
  • Learning overgrowth
  • Permission to fail
  • Getting out of the deliverables business

The Lean UX Manifesto

  • Early customer validation over releasing products with unknown end-user value
  • Collaborative design over designing on an island
  • Solving user problems over designing the next “cool” feature
  • Measuring KPIs over undefined success metrics
  • Applying appropriate tools over following a rigid plan
  • Nimble design over heavy wireframes, comps or specs

References

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