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Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience Hardcover – March 8, 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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Top Customer Reviews
UX person AND have read Lean Startup - skip this book. It will be largely redundant.
UX person and haven't read Lean Startup - Read Lean Startup instead. How to apply UX should be a fairly obvious extension of Eric's ideas.
Not a UX person but are interested in learning about Lean UX - by all means, this is a good start to appreciate what is needed.
Unfortunately, I found most of the ideas very much surface thinking. I am sure these guys made a conscious choice to stay at the surface to appeal to a wider audience, but I wanted deeper understanding of the tradeoffs and obstacles companies will face.
Also, I thought their Design Studio concept a pretty average representation of one way to design/innovate. 10 minutes to sketch out six ideas on the spot? There are a lot of ways to generate diverge/converge cycles of ideation and just throwing one out there made it feel as if this was the Lean way.
A least they captured their ideas in a book that could be read in one sitting.
I deducted one star because of:
> The statement to abandon the product road map instead of improving it by adding outcomes that clarify what feature sets suppose to deliver;
> The introduction of noise using hypothesis and syntax as placeholders for work instead of just using (spike) Stories which can also be considered "experiments";
> The last paragraph "A Last Word" that shows UX Researcher, UX Designer and UI Developer as lead roles in innovative product development instead of complying with Scrum and appoint the Product Owner as the lead with all other people in the role of Developers with special skills. According to me Apple is a interesting example of a company that was successfully lead by Steve Jobs as THE Product Owner with THE vision and will, according to me, struggle with UX designers now taking over.
Overall a good read to understand that we need to be team players.
Several other reviewers have commented that this is a relatively thin book, and therefore it's a quick read, but A does not necessarily follow B here. Make it a quick read if you like, but I think you'll only get out of it what you put into it. Even if it is a "quick read," it's not a "quick implement." Several of the ideas put forth are major changes from waterfall development and the way that designers have traditionally worked, and it will take some time and a few false starts before a team finds their comfort zone with this. You should find yourself referring back to the book frequently as you switch over.
The authors say that Lean UX is a mindset, and they support that position with a chapter that describes Lean UX principles. Unfortunately, they list 3 foundations and 15 "key principles" that are "critical to the success of Lean UX." They seem to have forgotten one basic design principle, which is that people can't remember more than a few things from a list, perhaps 7 at the most. It's just not possible to focus on 15 principles at the same time and try to make sure that your processes reflect all of them. Some of these principles are high level (such as "Progress = Outcomes, not Output") and others are the result of, or an aspect of applying those, such as "Removing Waste." While all the principles are valuable, that chapter could have been reworked somewhat.
Is it redundant of the "Lean Startup?" I see it as a focused drill-down on how Lean Startup looks in one discipline, so I think it's a valuable addition. Definitely, though, don't try to bring in Lean Startup principles by starting with Lean UX if your company isn't already doing Lean Startup, or moving towards it.
Step 1: Solve Problems Together (Every member of your team is important and should be helping along the way)
Step 2: Sketch (Instead of jumping right onto the computer, try sketching by hand - it's a great way to get the ideas out)
Step 3: Prototype (Build something that can earn feedback as soon as you can)
Step 4: Pair Your Developers & Designers (They will always have something to learn from one another)
Step 5: Create a Style Guide (It's all about creating workflow and staying efficient!)
I loved that this book is pretty small. It definitely keeps with the "Lean" theme. All too often, these technical books get too wordy and bogged down. No one wants to read 500 pages on this topic. The book is short and sweet and to the point.
I think a great many people would really benefit from reading this book. Whether you're a designer, a developer, a project manager, or anywhere in between, this is a great read for you. When designing/developing, you're constantly working for that client, whether it's one particular person or company directly or your future buyers. With this book, you'll be reminded just how to do that quickly and efficiently, all the while wowing your clients.