Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience Hardcover – March 19, 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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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.
The biggest asset of this book, in my opinion, is that it's a short and easy read. That means I can hand this book to other people and they just might read it! It does not overwhelm readers with frivolous design speak and project management history lessons.
I would say that this book has a hidden value that is only apparent after you have read the book. That is, this book will HELP ANYONE trying to develop quality software! The techniques and information is just as valuable to Product Mangers, Project Managers, Developers, QA, and Business Analysts as it is to the UX professional.
This is more than Lean UX! This is the best UX book I have read to date, and I am sharing it with my team as well as business analysts and project managers at my company.
Although I did find the chapter of integrating LeanUX + Scrum lacking (hence the 4 instead of 5 stars), the book itself was a wealth of knowledge for all readers (not just those involved in UX). It opened my eyes to cross functional teams where the UX resource will become more of a facilitator and the developers could easily assist with being research assistants, scribes, and partnering with the UXers.
It has spawned my interest in how I can better assist in reducing documentation and fixating on the end product.
Top international reviews
This book is best suited for individuals who are already familiar with and have some experience with Lean methodologies. You won't get lost in any of the concepts if you have no experience in the space-- just the argument for and the nuts and bolts of putting it to use may appear weak if you don't have a stronger foundation.
Lean UX is a wicked problem. The author doesn't offer it here as a wicked problem but as you conclude the book you can't help but reach that conclusion. The only way to develop and implement a Lean UX system that works is to implement it wrong and cultivate enough political capital to earn the right to implement it 'right' over a sustained period of time.
Jeff does a good job here providing a best first answer to many of these problems. But just as there is no one size fits all agile approach and agile is best when you're not dogmatic about it, so to is lean UX. Lean UX is a response to a business and software development environment where closer integration and iteration are the key currency of the day.
I recommend this book as a contributor to anyone who is looking to learn about Lean UX and apply the principles in their work. But I would strongly encourage you to read this topic from multiple angles, including the software development angle.
Jeff borrows aggressively from Lean Startup thinking but I think that does a disservice, I think the principles of Lean UX extend far beyond the Lean Startup philosophy. One area I believe I will continue to refer to is Jeff's summary on how to integrate user research into the design process.
Over the next year, I suspect the volume of books on Lean UX to increase in volumes. I don't suppose this book will standout in a larger collection of books on the topic of agile UX.
Exactly what I wanted!