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UX for Lean Startups: Faster, Smarter User Experience Research and Design [Kindle Edition]

Laura Klein
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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  • Print ISBN-10: 1449334911
  • Print ISBN-13: 978-1449334918
  • Edition: 1

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Book Description

Great user experiences (UX) are essential for products today, but designing one can be a lengthy and expensive process. With this practical, hands-on book, you’ll learn how to do it faster and smarter using Lean UX techniques. UX expert Laura Klein shows you what it takes to gather valuable input from customers, build something they’ll truly love, and reduce the time it takes to get your product to market.

No prior experience in UX or design is necessary to get started. If you’re an entrepreneur or an innovator, this book puts you right to work with proven tips and tools for researching, identifying, and designing an intuitive, easy-to-use product.

  • Determine whether people will buy your product before you build it
  • Listen to your customers throughout the product’s lifecycle
  • Understand why you should design a test before you design a product
  • Get nine tools that are critical to designing your product
  • Discern the difference between necessary features and nice-to-haves
  • Learn how a Minimum Viable Product affects your UX decisions
  • Use A/B testing in conjunction with good UX practices
  • Speed up your product development process without sacrificing quality


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Q&A with Laura Klein, author of "UX for Lean Startups"

Q. Why is your book timely-- what makes it important right now?

A. We’re seeing a massive increase in the demand for well-designed, easy-to-use products. At the same time, we’re seeing an incredible shortage of designers who can work at the sort of fast-paced, data-driven, innovative startups that are popping up. UX for Lean Startups helps teach founders and entrepreneurs the basics of research, design, and UX so that they can build products people love and companies that can grow.

Q. What information do you hope that readers of your book will walk away with?

A. I hope that everybody who reads the book will be able to learn from their customers and turn that information into products that people will actually buy. I want startups to stop building things people don’t want and can’t use. This book can help them do that.

Q. What's the most exciting and/or important thing happening in your space?

A. I think the addition of data is the most important change to design that I’ve seen. By incorporating real data into the design process, we can understand exactly what effect our changes have on our users’ behavior. It used to be that design was about opinion and compromise. Now it’s about proving that the work we do has a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Laura's top 5 tips for readers:

1. Talking to users is not as good as listening to users, which is not as good as observing users. The best way to truly understand your user experience is to watch people trying to use your product. Do this as often as possible. It can be painful, but it’s always useful.

2. Know that something you believe may be wrong. The most important thing you can do is to identify which of your beliefs are assumptions and validate them. Before you spend a lot of time designing and building a feature, spend a little time validating whether or not the feature will help your business.

3. Quantitative research tells you what. Qualitative research tells you why. Things like A/B testing and funnel analysis (quant) are useful for explaining things like which design caused people to buy more products and where people fell out of the purchase funnel. Things like observational research and usability testing (qual) can tell you why users responded better to a particular design and why users are getting dropping out of the purchase funnel. Use them together for the best results.

4. An MVP is not half of a big product. It’s a whole small product. Don’t build something crappy and unusable and then claim it’s a minimum viable product. Build a good, but limited, version of your product that solves a serious problem for people.

5. Lean Startup is about learning, not landing pages. Whenever you’re wondering whether you should use a specific Lean Startup tactic, like a landing page or an MVP or an A/B test, ask yourself what you hope to learn from it and whether there is a cheaper, faster, more effective way to get that learning. Just measuring things doesn’t make you lean. The only way to truly be a Lean Startup is to Build, Measure, and Learn (and then Iterate).

About the Author

Laura has spent 15 years as an engineer and designer. Her goal is to help lean startups learn more about their customers so that they can build better products faster. Her popular design blog, Users Know, teaches product owners exactly what they need to know to do just enough research and design.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1595 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (May 2, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CMFJZ1Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,261 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Applied Lean Theory August 25, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's difficult to evaluate this book because, depending on who you are, it could either be completely common-sensical or completely revelatory. There's very little "meat" in terms of case studies. Instead, the entire book assumes that you're a product manager who's interested in practicing the lean startup methodology and either haven't read Eric Ries' The Lean Startup or don't understand its implications for UX methodology.

The methodology advocated by the book boils down to:

1. If a feature would be expensive to implement, establish the need for it first by talking to users.
2. Once a feature is implemented, use metrics to test the hypothesis that it's solved the problem it was intended to solve.

To the book's credit, it provides good advice on how to validate proposed features without asking leading questions like "We're thinking of implementing Feature X. Do you think Feature X would be useful?" It also advocates talking to small groups of users frequently, rather than doing large-scale user testing occasionally or, worse, sending out surveys (a grossly overused tool for startups).

Overall, this is a light and sensible read, but don't expect any dazzling insights.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Laura Klein's book is fantastic. If you are expecting a web design, interaction design or color/look-feel design then you are in the wrong place. Laura writes about those things, but his focus is to show how a product team using the Lean Startup method need to iterate and test continuously the User Experience.

The best subjects and insights I liked in her book:

-- How to do Early Validation of problem/solution

-- Tips about MVP Experiments like Landing Pages, Concierge MVP, Fakes, Wizard of Oz, etc

-- When to use Qualitative versus Quantitative Research and Testing

-- A/B testing do's and don'ts

-- Design Hacks

It's always important to make sure that you read at least one of the books below to deeply understand why Lean Startup UX is so much focused on validation and hypothesis testing:

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works (Lean Series)

And if you need more details about Analytics I strongly recommend you to read also:

Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster (Lean (O'Reilly))

Jose Papo, from Brazil ( twitter: @josepapo )
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Skip it... Ignore the "LEAN MAFIA" 5 star reviews August 17, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is filled with a lot of obvious advice.
It's as if somebody wrote a book on running a bar and advised you to have a good supply of beer and whiskey.
Or if you were going to start a painting business and they said to have some brushes, rollers, ladders and a sprayer for those times you wanted to spray on paint.
Inside this book you get such gems of wisdom as "do a little research" or "test your applications."
Want some more things you should do... "fix a bug, deal with an error, tweak an existing design, build a whole new product."
Gee, so just throwing something online and not bothering to fix it is not the right way to go??? Really??? Glad I read this book to find that out.
So I decided to check into a few of the people that gave this thing 5 star reviews.
The ones that I read their previous reviews were all fans of other "Lean" books such as Lean Analytics or they knew the author of other books in the series or so on.
It's a "you give my book a 5 star rating and I'll give yours a 5 star rating " club.
Maybe somebody can write a UX for BLOATED and OVERWEIGHT Startups. Sell it on the Weight Watchers web site maybe.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Actionable advice for Agile Startups August 25, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
With a lively, if somewhat irreverant, tone , Laura Klein guides you through the process of starting a venture using UX as a gateway into finding a market and success. This book has pragmatic advice on what to do and how to do it now, and more importantly, what not to spend time on. Not just a concept book, this book discusses tools and detailed approaches. Klein addresses many of the concerns people might have about "skipping steps" in order to be lean, and explains the both the challenges and benefits of a lean approach to UX design. The author discusses how UX fits into an agile startup environment.

This book shares some of the irreverant tone of The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field .The author's tone takes a bit of getting used to, but the advice is good, and actionable, and the style of the writing emphasizes the "just do it" theme of the book.

This books has a slightly different audience than the earlier, similarly titled book Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience. Lean UX is more about how to apply Lean Principles to UX design, with an eye toward migrating from a non-iterative UX process to a more iterative, lean, agile process. That book seemed to be geared more towards UX professionals, though anyone who touches UX could benefit from it. This book addresses the needs of entrepreneurs and members of a startup who want to have a good UX, but can't waste a lot of time and effors on it. I'd reccommend that either individual get both books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Book has important ideas but has many incompetent views and vague...
Half of the book expounds on an idea (Lean UX) that is different from traditional UX research methodology and they are important to know for anyone who is seeking to be in the... Read more
Published 6 days ago by tale of six strings
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
This book was an awesome addition to the Lean Startup series. I am an absolute beginner at design but I feel much more confident in my ability to release an(at least) half-decent... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible
Laura Klein, you're awesome. You're funny, you're right, you're to the point and you definitely know what you're talking about. Read more
Published 4 months ago by John Ellison
5.0 out of 5 stars Super useful book for my startup, so glad I took the time to read this
I really love this book because it consolidates the key principles of Lean and in an easy to understand way, and Its really helped me plan my projects better. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Izabel
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for developers who need to learn about UX
This book is a quick read because the author's style is both to the point and humorous. Good intro to UX with some practical advice on how to approach it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Techie Buyer
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book to learn and apply UX in a Lean Environment
The book is very well written in a no-nonsense style and the author is able to explain the concepts in a systematic way.
Published 6 months ago by SundarN
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-read for any entrepreneur
I've read all the Lean Series, and from all the books I found this the most fun and easy to read.

I'm not a designer, I'm a developer, that's why this is not the most... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Franco Risso
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical advice for getting started
I am about halfway through the book. I already see how our innovation process can be more effective thanks to the tips in this book.
Published 6 months ago by Peter
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable resource
Interesting take on User Experience that every Product Management professional should read about.
Valuable takeaway is the POV that the focus should be in validating... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Read Lean Analystics Instead
You should pretty much just read Lean Analytics and call it a day. It's mostly the same content in my mind.
Published 8 months ago by Vincent Bataoel
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