Updated: Jul 21
“Design is not what it just looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
We have seen that lean UX is not only a process or framework but culture and mindset also which embraces agile-lean methods. In our previous article ‘Introduction to Lean UX,’ we have gone through its basic details including its benefits, origin, and need of assumption and hypothesis in it. Lean UX helps in implementing functionality within MVP i.e. minimum variable product by measuring success against the benefit hypothesis.
It has helped the traditional UX to extend its role further in comprehensive future views. Lean UX helps to know the reason for existing features, implementation of functionality, and also the benefits it provides going beyond user to interact with a system and executing design. Lean UX allows complete implementation of new functionality in a process. It takes into account the basic requirement and needs of a user while creating allowance for the user limitations and context.
In agile as others, Lean UX also has basic principles and phases which we will learn in this article.
6 Principles of Lean UX in Agile
Act As a Team
To fulfill customers' requirements and needs team members including cross-functional skills and role individuals like developers, programmers, designers, and product managers need to act as one team. This cross-functional teams collaboration needs to understand what we are building, who we are building it for, and what success we are expecting. To attend the success it is necessary to have a tight collaboration within the team and team members. With help of interviewing users together, team members get first-hand feedback which helps in knowing why the result happened in a particular way and hence allowing a team member to act swiftly on the particular problem.
Solve Right Problem
Most time team thinks agile is about a small increment of work. But in actuality, agile is about a continuous small feedback loop. It is always better for Agile to have continuous small batches with continuous feedback. It is always easy for a team member to have small and continuous user engagement providing regular intervals of feedback on which it is easy to understand and work on. It also mitigates the risk helping to check our potential solutions.
Agile Lean UX is based on well-managed and continuous design collaboration. Continuous design is carried on to engage the customers. Designers collaborate with another team to understand user activities. This involvement of a designer in other collaborations makes them more than a designer in a team so it is always difficult to say that, yes they are our designers.
Plan changes, so plan accordingly
Working with software always means working with a high level of uncertainty. Lean UX always demands that the team members especially designers must always plan and evolve accordingly with the received new information. As we will not always be sure how our solution is going to work in the market we need to take small steps and learn as we go instead of model careful planning from the start. It is easier said than done but it will be easier to change if we are ready for it and not hover on change.
Deliverables? Not so much
Deemphasizing design for deliverables is also one of the principles for lean UX. Lean UX in agile is more about adjusting your design process for becoming more agile attuned. But doing so doesn’t mean being devoid of deliverables but it just means creating the artifacts only to communicate the conversation a single step ahead.
Lean UX and Design Thinking
In Lean UX we go through various design thinking processes like observing the user, building and understanding empathy, brainstorming, finding different solutions with collaboration, and measuring the impact of it to determine the best one. In lean UX the difference from only agile design thinking is that it allows and encourages altering processes and methods as per the required scope.
Phases of Lean UX in Agile
The cycle of Lean UX can be expressed with a simple process
Based on customer feedback, research on customers and competitive comparison team members brainstorm for any possible areas of improvement. Afterward, they develop a problem statement and then further decide on which area to be worked on for improvement.
A team member will like designer and developers will make a new feature to solve the problem or to improve the product.
Once the feature is created team members even test them to make sure their hypotheses are right. Its response is positive new features are integrated with design if not then the process is repeated from the thinking phase.
“We must learn what customers want, not what they say they want, or what we think they should want. We must discover whether we are on a path that will lead to growing a sustainable business.” This assurance is provided with Lean UX.
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