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The Lean User Experience (UX) is a methodology that emerges as a dynamic and efficient approach and challenges traditional UX design. In this approach, quick decisions and collaboration with all the team members are two factors that differentiate it from traditional UX design. The important key is the minimize wasted time, resources, and expenses by considering the principles of Agile development. This article provides insight into the meaning of Lean UX, its process, and its impacts on designing products that resonate with both users and business objectives. By the way, if you need a UI/UX Design Service, our team can support you in any stage of your project.
What Is Lean UX?
In traditional UX design, designers spend significant time understanding user needs, and thoughts, identifying issues, and defining product requirements before starting the design process(uxdesigninstitute). In contrast, Lean UX emphasizes the experience being designed and requires increased collaboration with the entire team. The primary goal of Lean UX is to minimize wasted time, money, and resources during the design cycle and make quick decisions, aligning with the agile development theory, which operates in rapid and iterative cycles (interaction-design). The phases in the agile design method are parallel rather than following each other in linear sequences (careerfoundry). By reading Jeff Gothelf’s book Lean UX: ‘Applying Lean Principles to Improve user experience,’ you will not only learn how to collaborate closely with your team and gather feedback early but also how to design in short, iterative cycles to assess what works best for the business and the user.
Lean UX Design Process:
The ux lean process involves the following steps, which will be discussed shortly in the upcoming sections.
1) Outcomes, assumptions, and hypotheses
3) Creating the MVP
4) Research and Learning
As Gothelf says: “The Lean UX is a mindset”
Everyone in the organization has to adopt either Lean UX as a mindset or a position of humanity and willingness to test proposed solutions to be effective
Assumptions in Lean UX :
The focus of most of the software creation processes is on the features and deliverables, while the attention of Lean UX is on the outcomes of the product and how they benefit (or don’t benefit) the users (invisionapp).
Lean UX starts with designers’ assumptions, aiming to create good outcomes rather than starting with what they think. All assumptions are essentially your expectations or beliefs based on the information you have about your users. Indeed, these carry a great deal of risk and may be completely incorrect. However, they are crucial to provide a foundation for your group.
We listed here 4 types of assumptions:
Users: How are the people that you are creating your product for, and what is their persona.
Business outcomes: What are the criteria for determining the success of a product? How do business outcomes represent the success of the product development process?
User outcomes: What are the user’s pain points? How your product can solve their problems?
Features: How do you plan to make future product improvements to ensure that users receive the desired result?
The next step is moving into the hypotheses statements from assumption (invisionapp).
Design in Lean UX:
In this step, you can design your product and test your hypotheses. For example, by creating a landing page that tracks the number of customers signing up for your service, you can assess demand, especially if you are in the early stages of your project (invisionapp).
Don’t forget, you have to design collaboratively
For instance, teams from various departments should collaboratively create their wireframes, and everyone should feel free to provide feedback on all aspects. In this situation, designers should take on the role of facilitators in discussions and meetings related to the design process. There is a wide range of structures that you can use to manage meetings and conversations during the design process (invisionapp).
For more information, you can check out Chapter Four of the Lean UX book (Amazon).
The Minimum Viable Product in Lean UX:
The simplest version of a product that only includes the core features and its functionalities aim to address the user’s needs at an early stage is an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) (uxpin).
The definition from “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries is provided, emphasizing collecting validated learnings with minimal effort (invisionapp).
A functional product, known as an MVP, enables the product team to monitor user engagement, get feedback, and gather important data for use in future iterations and improvements.
With the least amount of development expenses and time to market, an MVP tries to reach a balance between providing value to users and confirming the product’s feasibility (uxpin).
Depending on your hypotheses, the MVP can take various shapes, with some examples listed here:
Wireframes: This version is Low-friendly of a product. For more information about “how to create a wireframe”, see (invisionapp).
Mockups: Mockup is a higher-friendly, full-scale version of a product with designs, colors, and icons.
Prototypes: A prototype is a basic version of a product with minimal functionality and design. Your MVP must be built based on your hypotheses and assumptions. The feedback and reaction of your users give a bright insight that you are on the right track or not (invisionapp).
User Research and Testing in Lean UX:
The research and testing approach in Lean UX is the same as this term in traditional UX, with a little difference. In Lean UX, research and testing are more quick and agile, even if without precision and details, also the results must be delivered promptly, often before the next Agile Sprint begins. In this approach, responsibilities are distributed among all team members, rather than having a single UX designer handle everything within tight deadlines. This way, everyone in the team understands and supports UX work better, promoting collaboration and preventing bottlenecks (interaction-design).
In conclusion, Lean user experience (UX) has a small difference compared to traditional UX. The main goal of Lean UX is to reduce wasted time, money, and resources in the design cycle and make quick decisions, aligning with Agile development theory, which works in fast and iterative cycles. In traditional UX, designers spend a lot of time understanding user needs, and thoughts, identifying issues, and defining product requirements before starting the design process.
The Lean UX process has four stages: Assumptions, Design, MVP, and Research. Lean UX starts with designers making assumptions, which is crucial for building a foundation. It then moves to the design phase, where collaboration among all team members is highlighted. The next step is the MVP, as defined by Eric Ries, which emphasizes collecting valid learnings with minimal effort. Finally, research and testing in Lean UX are similar to traditional UX but a bit faster and more agile, even without many details, and responsibilities are shared among all team members.
What are the benefits of lean UX?
Applying the lean methodology to UX creates a user-centered approach that forces product teams to rapidly generate and test ideas in the real world. This prototyping model speeds up the UX design process, minimizes waste, and grounds it in the perspectives and experiences of real users.
What is different between UX design and Lean UX?
Lean UX’s main goal is to encourage quick decision-making to reduce the waste of time, money, and resources during the design process. Lean UX is in line with Agile development principles and prioritizes short iterative cycles. Lean UX advocates a more effective and streamlined approach to design, in contrast to traditional UX, which entails considerable upfront activities including identifying user needs and developing product requirements.
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(n.d.). Retrieved from https://careerfoundry.com/en/blog/ux-design/lean-ux-for-beginners/
(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/a-simple-introduction-to-lean-ux
(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.invisionapp.com/inside-design/lean-ux/