Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
UX for Lean Startups: Faster, Smarter User Experience Research and Design Hardcover – May 26, 2013
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From the Publisher
|Running Lean||Lean Analytics||Lean Enterprise||Lean UX||Lean Customer Development||Lean Branding|
|Find further titles in this series||Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works||Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster||How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale||Designing Great Products with Agile Teams||Building Products Your Customers Will Buy||Creating Dynamic Brands to Generate Conversion|
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.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most reviews I read on the book were here on Amazon, and all of them were 5 stars except one. Two things gave me pause-I couldn't understand how the book would have 5 stars even though it wasn't out yet, and there was 1 review that said this book was a "skip it". I went ahead and ordered it anyway, thinking that, if it wasn't that good, I'll simply return it.
I returned it.
The only thing this book has in common with The Lean Startup is its name. Unfortunately, it is written very poorly, and the author (or editor, I don't know) comes across as if they were simply trying to fill pages with text, as opposed to actually having something notable to write. For example, there is a methodology in presentations where you do 3 things: tell people what you are about to say, say it, and then tell people what you've said.
This author took that blueprint and applied it to this book literally, by writing sentences that describe what she is about to say in the next sentence, when she could have simply just said what she wanted to say from the beginning!
Kind of like the following sentence (this isn't out of the book but it's very similar to its writing):
Okay, so what I'm about to say is really important. Oh, and as a professional you may have already heard this. If you heard this then you'll know that this is important. You really need put your customers first because it's very important.
This is like a middle school book report.
Another thing that could stand to improve is the over-use of sarcasm. Maybe it was the author thinking that she's writing in her own "voice" but to me it came off as surly and unfunny. Here's an example of what is written in the book:
Have you ever used Amazon? Sure you have, you're human.
Those are 10 words that this book could have done without, and there are many, many more.
Also, there are so many platitudes throughout this book it's aggravating, and you can even see them in many of the 5 star reviews on this site. The main one is this:
If you are looking for a how-to on graphic design this isn't the book for you.
If you are looking for a how-to on starting a business this isn't the book for you.
If you are looking for a how-to on [insert specific expertise or topic] this isn't the book for you.
I'd suggest that the author not waste time speaking about who this book is not intended for and just focus on who it "is" for. This is basic technical writing structure! This book isn't for graphic designers...well it isn't for painters or plumbers or trapeze artists or rappers or bull terriers either! You could go down the list of who this book isn't for. Focus on who it "is" for, and the pre-requisites your readers are expected to have.
In addition, the suggestions in this book are highly generic. Using stock pre-built websites, email capture forms, and plug-in play shopping carts can have value but if someone doesn't understand WHY they are doing these things, they will, in fact, be wasting their time, and be just as lost as before they opened this book for guidance.
Anyway, I hope that Eric Reis has some much better quality control, or just kills this whole Lean Series Spinoff idea because books like this really become noise among his signals. If the author of this book is reading this, I think you should get some more people on your team to tell you the truth because this book is unacceptable. An expert making the affiliation with The Lean Startup book should be able to write something much better than this.
So I agree with that 1 review that mysteriously disappeared that suggested skipping this book and just reading The Lean Startup.
Lastly, Eric, it would be much better if the authors of these books came from other camps than your own, or if they did come from your own, they should talk about something completely different. Every time this author made reference to IMVU, it made me feel like this book was a product of nepotism. Again, they can come from your camp but they should at least offer something completely and utterly different than what you've already offered in The Lean Startup.
Skip this book and read The Lean Startup. This book is noise among signal.
Anyway, I hope this review helps to balance the other sterling ones.
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.
As a web designer and developer, I've always found it easy to find books on good design. It's easy to identify what is aesthetically pleasing and then tell people to do that. It's also easy to find books on the hows of technical languages. UX is one of those tricky subjects that is sort of in the middle. It's a combination of aesthetically organized, easy to use elements and technology that is spot on and runs efficiently. It's one of those harder concepts. This book, however, does an awesome job of explaining it in an easy to digest format.
If you think you're going to be working with UX at all, I highly suggest this book. Even more so, I recommend the entire Lean series. The information is great whether or not you're involved in a startup.
I think following a couple of growth-hacking and UX blogs is a way better introduction to this field.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first opening pages of books like this can be pretty watered down, drawing on information...Read more