Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience

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The Lean UX approach to interaction design is tailor-made for today’s web-driven reality. In this insightful book, leading advocate Jeff Gothelf teaches you valuable Lean UX principles, tactics, and techniques from the ground up—how to...
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The Lean UX approach to interaction design is tailor-made for today’s web-driven reality. In this insightful book, leading advocate Jeff Gothelf teaches you valuable Lean UX principles, tactics, and techniques from the ground up—how to rapidly experiment with design ideas, validate them with real users, and continually adjust your design based on what you learn.

Inspired by Lean and Agile development theories, Lean UX lets you focus on the actual experience being designed, rather than deliverables. This book shows you how to collaborate closely with other members of the product team, and gather feedback early and often. You’ll learn how to drive the design in short, iterative cycles to assess what works best for the business and the user. Lean UXshows you how to make this change—for the better.

  • Frame a vision of the problem you’re solving and focus your team on the right outcomes
  • Bring the designers’ toolkit to the rest of your product team
  • Share your insights with your team much earlier in the process
  • Create Minimum Viable Products to determine which ideas are valid
  • Incorporate the voice of the customer throughout the project cycle
  • Make your team more productive: combine Lean UX with Agile’s Scrum framework
  • Understand the organizational shifts necessary to integrate Lean UX

Lean UX received the 2013 Jolt Award from Dr. Dobb's Journal as the best book of the year. The publication's panel of judges chose five notable books, published during a 12-month period ending June 30, that every serious programmer should read.


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Jeff Gothelf on How to Do Lean UX in 5 Easy Steps

  1. 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.

  2. Sketch: Introduce the team to sketching in order to help them visualize their ideas and come to a consensus.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.


By Maraspin Stefano on March 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've always thought agile development loses much of its potential when implementation strictly covers what has already been designed. Where does learning from feedback happen in such a context? Is it still agile? Or barely iterative? In such situations it's also easy to have UX practitioners creating expensive designs (from a technical point of view), because they do not have a grasp of underlying technical complexity. Less costly design decisions could bring to equally satisfying products, but the lack of communication between the two teams brings to the development of the least efficient solution.

It's for these reasons that it always appeared weird to me that UX and Dev Teams were allowed to be different beasts. Agile should be about individuals, interactions, feedback... where does all of this happen, if we keep such teams separate?

I loved this book for being the first (I am aware of) to point out the shortcomings and pitfalls of such common practice, and also to offer practical hints to achieve Lean UX - IE having a single team of professionals with different skills and backgrounds (designers, developers, marketers) working together, as a unique team, to achieve a unique goal: digital product success.

Book can be read in a really short amount of time, and still offers lots of piratical, tactical and strategic hints. Despite we adopt most of the techniques suggested herein already, not only I've been happy to find some confirmation on our practices, but I've also been able to get some precious tips and practical suggestions, that we'll be able to immediately apply on the Field. Book's really what I had been looking for, for a long time and I'm now glad to have it on my bookshelf!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpfulBy Amazon Customer on August 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Even though I am not directly involved in the UX world, most of our projects have at least one or more UX resources involved. Being a Scrum person in terms of execution, I've always struggled with how to best incorporate those UXers into the mix. This book not only lays out a much "leaner" approach than the typical User Centered Design (UCD) process, but gives real world examples on what this looks like in terms of a project setting.

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.


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Link: http://www.amazon.com/Lean-UX-Applying-Principles-Experience/dp/1449311652/
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