Applying Lean UX Principle

The Lean UX principles to interaction are mainly designed for the current web-driven reality. The purpose of this book written by Jeff Gothelf teaches the reader valuable Lean UX tactics, principles and techniques to improve User Experience from the ground up. Additionally it gives the insights on how to experiment with various design ideas, validate those ideas with real users as well as continually adjust the design based on what is learned. This book contains approximately 124 pages long with the keywords that form the theme of it, including cooperation, collaboration and communication which are the elements of any thriving business.

However, the approach of this book shows you how to apply some principles in the process to include all people on your team project. It highly focuses on creating the group structure which benefits all people for a successful outcome, but it’s less when it comes to discussing the User Experience technicalities. This book has three main sections, which include integration, overview and process.

Applying Lean UX Principle

Section I: Overview

This section is actually an introduction to all basic principles of Lean User Experience design process. It is therefore important to understand the basic principles in order to build a foundation for the next chapters of development.

Section II: Process

This is section two of the book that details the entire process of designing the UX and also explains step-by-step instructions for your development and provides examples to signify the importance.

Section III: Integration

This is the final and most critical section of Lean UX principles that takes what is learned in the latter sections and then teaches how to successfully integrate the practices into the organization or your own business on an individual, team and corporate level.

All these chapters go through certain actionable items in a systematic way through the entire process of User Experience. In addition, each chapter concludes with a conclusion which sums up the importance of the approach and how to successfully implement it. However, before you start the project, there are certain questions to be evaluated and answered. Some include what problems does your product solve, where does your product fit into life or work, and who’s the user?

Identifying and knowing all these problems upfront keep individuals on track and highly focused on the same objective. For instance, in this book, chapter 8 (Making Organizational Shifts) is actually the most relevant to the marketing business as it explains the company behind development of the product and significance of input from every team.

Chapter 8 also discusses issues such as problem solving and cross-functional teams and how this can benefit businesses. The really value of these organizational shifts is that individuals are more engaged and focused with the project. It will also offer the best contribution and feedback to the overall User Experience and design process. Even if you’re not entrenched in the development phase of the product at your organization, Lean UX principles will also provide you with valuable guidelines for encouraging productivity and creativity. Particularly, it is a beneficial book for product teams, design and User Experience. Though, every contributor on any given level to this process may also benefit from a communicative, strategic and organization viewpoint.

In this case, the most important thing is that you understand the great benefits of moving towards, a better, more interactive and outcomes-based design method, while allowing some reliance on certain classic design deliverables. Under introduction to this book, Jeff and Josh sum-up the main theme of the proposed change in the design approach.

The fault isn’t actually with the executives, or the designers or even the engineers, but the problem is with the systems users use in building organizations. People are still creating silos in a world which demands a great collaboration. Surprisingly, organizations are still arguing over specifications, investing in analysis and producing deliverables more efficiently in a world which needs continuous experimentation to achieve continuous innovation.

Applying Lean UX principles also discusses how to create better products using real collaboration. The authors of this book detail a lot of practical techniques and tactics for working together more effectively. They have also included some case studies to illustrate how these techniques work in real-world situations.

These are three main principles of what defines Lean UX:

1. Improving the system efficiency of developers, quality assurance engineers, product mangers, marketers, designers and many more in the transparent and cross-functional collaboration which brings non-designers into the entire design process.

2. Eliminating waste from the process of design to move away from highly documented handoffs to a process which builds only the design artifacts required to move the learning forward of the team.

3. Shifting the people’s mindsets away from relying entirely on “hero designers” for divining the best solution from just a single viewpoint, using rapid measurement and experiment to learn very fast how well, or not these ideas meet the set goals of an organization.

However, the discussion of how this Lean UX fits into the agile development seems to be the only part of this book that is a little bit controversial. The authors argue that the idea of “Staggered Sprints” or “Sprint 0” does not work long term and this ensures that the design is always sprint ahead of the development.

Though, this approach works better as a transition and it isn’t where you really want your team of expert to end-up. This is because it becomes easy to build a situation on which the whole team isn’t working on the same item at the same time. This way you will never get the benefits of the cross-functional collaboration due to various disciplines are all focused in different situations or things. Without this collaboration, you do not create shared understanding, and end-up relying highly on handoffs and documentation for communication.

In conclusion, Lean User Experience is an excellent overview of what exactly n effective and efficient process of UX should look like. Basically, there is a great balance between practical advice, case studies and theory. This kind of balance makes Lean UX principles a valuable resource for everyone, including those new to the industry, but it also provides experienced UX practitioners with a framework to communicate and structure the work they perform daily.

 

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Megan Wilson
Megan Wilson is user experience specialist & editor of UX Motel. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe Megan.w(at)walkme.com
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