April 2019 | Mood Up team - software house

Should You Adopt Lean UX Principles?

In a mobile-first world where clients require faster development cycles whilst adhering to the same high standards of quality, UX designers were in limbo.

It is to fit these requirements that the lean standards were introduced to design, prioritising regular UX interactions with real customers over excessive documentation. Such an approach to design we’ve found is more agile, increase collaboration and allows the design work to be done as efficiently as possible, so that the client receives the best possible product at the lowest possible cost.

Lean UX Cycle

Basics of the Lean UX

The primary function of Lean UX is to be as agile as possible, reducing the traditional UX documentation and long hours spent in design meetings. The team, therefore, focuses on regular interactions with real customers through UX interviews and early testing.

“Design only what you need. Deliver it quickly. Create enough customer contact to get meaningful feedback fast.”
Jeff Gothelf, Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience

Such an approach to design, increases collaboration, where everyone is considered equal with no place for gurus or ninjas. This approach, we’ve found brings different perspectives to the table and initiates the simultaneous processing of tasks within the different members of a team.

What’s not to love?!

The lean UX process

Detailed deliverables are not a significant part of Lean UX, as the core purpose is to improve the product here and now.

The traditional requirements in a design brief are therefore discarded in favour of “problem statements” which leads to a set of assumptions, that allows us to create hypothesis statements

General questions we ask to create assumptions include

  1. Who is your user?
  2. What is the purpose of the product?
  3. In which situations it is used?
  4. When is it used?
  5. What is the most important functionality?
  6. What is the challenge in delivering a product?

Hypothesis

A hypothesis contains three components: product purpose, its importance and the personas it is important to.

Hypothesis Statement

Such hypotheses are useful as it guides designers throughout the process of designing a product. Deviations in the MVP are easily discovered when ones work does not fit into the hypothesis produced.

MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

What is an MVP?

Lean UX is all about creating the MVP – a product with just enough features to give the end users a satisfying experience while providing feedback for future improvements. Such minimum viable products are the reason for Lean UX design to flourish.

The MVP is created from both brainstormed ideas and the hypotheses, in order to build a product that has a minimum of all the key components. The MVP is then used to gather user feedback to improve upon previous assumptions and the quality of the product.

MVP definition

Such an approach to MVPs brings down the cost of development, increase efficiency and user satisfaction.

How can one evaluate the success of UX design?

  1. Observation –  directly observe the actual usage of the product in order to understand user behaviour and possible problems.
  2. User surveys – a simple end-user questionnaire can provide fast feedback if user observation is not possible
  3. Usage analytics – building analytics right into the product helps validate initial use and provides application telemetry. This is an incredible way to be up to date with user feedback.
  4. A/B testing – Allows for the comparison of two versions of a product to evaluate and pick the most effective variant.

Conclusion

App design is a costly process, in terms of both time and money, which why lean design can be beneficial for most clients. Such an approach will ensure an efficient design for your app as it can integrate with the agile framework of software development, which we use at Mood Up.

Got an idea that we can help build? Tell us more about it here.