Inspired by Agile and Lean methodologies, Lean UX is the practice of bringing the true nature of our work to light, faster with less emphasis on the deliverables and greater focus on the actual experiences being designed.
Lean UX takes a different approach and says: What if we worked more collaboratively, focused more on the end state – the experience we are actually trying to design – instead of the documentation…iterated quickly, worked more efficiently, and brought the true nature of the work to light, faster?
The concept of Lean…came from Toyota’s manufacturing process. They focus on minimizing waste from a process. Lean UX really does the same thing. Lean UX doesn’t mean that we are doing less work… we’re looking at the full spectrum of tools in our own toolkit…all are still viable in the Lean process. We are deciding which tool to use at the right time and at the right depth. Just enough design. Just at the right time.
Every iteration will start to bear some of the fingerprints of those contributions from other team members. As soon as they start to see that, there’s a greater investment and ownership in the product itself; so the quality of the product will inevitably go up at that point… a developer, a product manager, a designer are far more invested in the work when you say “Here’s a problem let’s go solve this” instead of “Hey I’ve solved the problem – go build this!”
Jeff shares how integrating Agile and UX forced his team to think in new ways, inspiring questions such as: How can we define and design the experience in lighter ways? How do we break down misconceptions and bottlenecks triggered by long design cycles and collaborate better with our teammates? This questions pushed the team to go lighter and leaner, with the greatest outcome, that of teams learning to trust one another.
Jeff also discusses how Lean UX can help move design professionals away from traditional deliverables in many ways including: rapid iterations based on low-fidelity articfacts; faster customer validation; and breaking down communication barriers between multi-disciplinary teams by focusing on conversation over documentation.
* Follow Jeff on Twitter.
* Jeff Gothelf on Slideshare.
* Smashing Magazine: Lean UX – Getting out of the Deliverables Business
* Cooper: Lean UX, Product Stewardship, and Integrated Teams
* UX Booth: Can User Experience Designers be Lean?
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