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Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience Hardcover – March 11, 2013
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Jeff Gothelf on How to Do Lean UX in 5 Easy Steps
- Solve problems together: Ensure that every member of your team is present during brainstorming for new projects. Give your teams problems to solve, not solutions to implement. The outcome will be a far more efficient and productive team creating higher quality products and experiences.
- Sketch: Introduce the team to sketching in order to help them visualize their ideas and come to a consensus.
- Prototype: Get to a product experience as quickly as possible. Use prototypes of varying fidelities to get a sense of what your product's experience will be and validate that with customers to ensure you're headed down the right path.
- Pair your developers and designers: Have developers and designers pair up to create the user interfaces. Each will learn from the other and build the trust necessary for greater team collaboration and productivity.
- Create a style guide: Codify your design elements in pattern libraries and code repositories so creating new pages and workflows in your product is as easy as picking the pieces from the style guide. It also allows the team to quickly piece together experiences for prototypes and empowers your developers to build interfaces without constant review with the UX designer.
About the Author
Jeff Gothelf is a designer & Agile practitioner. He is a leading voice on the topics of Agile UX & Lean UX and a highly sought-after international speaker. He is currently a Managing Director in Neo's New York City office. Previously, Jeff has led teams at TheLadders, Publicis Modem, WebTrends, Fidelity, & AOL.
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Experienced UXer's will likely know much of what is presented here, however achieving a shared understanding across an organization both horizontally (value stream) and vertically (management layers) for most companies involves a radical mind-shift.
This book can help open a dialogue with those stakeholders who may not have the time to study these things in depth but still have a major stake in the game. It uses brevity to provide clarity to an idea that many still only understand peripherally. At 120 pages, your manager, developer, product owner, marketer, teammate or CEO can read it in a day or two, though I might suggest they take their time to let the full picture sink in a little deeper.
The book could have done with better proof reading as errors in terminology may put folks off yet there are excellent elements of such as having a hypotheses and essentially taking a Scientific approach in testing the hypotheses. So sure the four Agile values are incorrectly stated as principles, and no doubt in the abstract one can confuse values and/or principles. In fact they could have provided some treatment to the twelve Agile principles [...] in order to introduce a narrower set of principles as there are some overlapping principles. As someone already mentioned the 15 or so principles would have been better presented in a simpler form that is memorable.
The main thrust of the book is that early on in Software industry development was undertaken at the behest of someones best guess. Now, software development is no longer the new kid on the block and fortunately we now have tools and techniques learnt as a result of the past that pushes teams to be more deliberate with the choices they make versus a choice made in some ivory tower. Sure a higher level choice is made through company and product strategy. This hasn't trickled down as easily as one would imagine and Lean UX shows a way in how one can focus on flow of ideas all the way to customer realizing value based on customer feedback and frequent learning that teams engage in.
I'm thinking I'll change the comparative viewpoint of "then" and "now" to a present day viewpoint of "this is how". Basically the students will never be exposed to BDUF but will learn Lean UX from the git go.
I'll be creating a session for our local Podcamp called "Start at B: Lean UX for non-UXers" that will profile my experience this spring in the classroom.
Thanks and wish me luck.
Coordinator and Professor
New Media Communication program
Middle Tennessee State University
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