Lean UX was born out of an effort to combine all the best ideas from agile development and design thinking. A way to help eliminate unnecessary steps, and put the focus on delivering concrete deliverables to the customers ASAP, test, learn, and then pivot based on their valuable feedback. The popular notion is that this iterative methodology is best suited in projects where you are short on time and resources. This approach focuses the efforts on solving the customers’ problems rather focus more on providing unique features. UX Design studios believe this agile way of working raises the quality of the designs and proves its value proposition.
Let us decipher the 5 fundamentals of Lean UX:
1. Lean UX = PPP
To inculcate this method successfully these are 3 of the key pointers to remember:
i) Purpose: Purpose driven, focused efforts of generating ideas
ii) Priority: Clear purpose statement and coherent action plan
iii) Perspective: Collaborative team effort that creates the impact. It is about bringing together cross-functional teams. For a product to be truly successful, user-centred design must drive business objectives. An orchestrated approach across disciplines must be achieved to create a truly effective user experience. Lack of which would result in - great variations in designs and disjointed interface.
2. Lean UX and its application
Lean UX is a method/ an approach where you get to learn the most while exerting intensive, focused efforts. It can be applied to one of the phases, works best in an overall agile environment, in combination with other methodologies throughout the project.
3. No more, no less, just enough
Using Lean UX methodology, working on an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) one can deliver highly effective results. MVP shares the same core concept as in Lean UX. This style of working is neither a shortcut nor an elaborate one. The only distinction being, the goal, that is to deliver a great product in the end. One that would solve the customers’ problems primarily and provide a delightful experience.
4. Hypotheses in Lean UX
The hypotheses are created in Lean UX to test our assumptions. Even some of the most well thought out designs are assumptions until proven otherwise. Until they are tested by real users. In Lean UX every idea is going to be tested and the evidence criteria clearly determined at intermittent stages. If the assumption can’t be supported by evidence from the user tests? Then it’s time to drop the idea and try something else. It is necessary that we constantly test the hypotheses, build a large database of insights about our users and their behaviours. This approach provides clarity and confidence that what you’re building will improve outcomes for the customers. In order to efficiently apply Lean UX methodology, one has to know the tools and apply them accordingly.
5. The exponential mindset
The exponential mindset is a dynamic way of thinking. To apply lean UX methodology your thinking needs to be more dynamic than the linear. All the processes and steps need to be highly co-ordinated with an active oversight of the entire project. A lot like the ping pong balls in which things happen in parallel in order to make progress.
To summarize, it takes courage and commitment to take the leap in the unknown domain of Lean UX. Though, the most important aspect to remember is: The challenge lies in unlearning the familiar ways of thinking and letting go without losing control. Replacing control of set linear process with control of purpose to apply the belief that 1X additional input can create 10X additional output.