Lean user experience - Smile Machine
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Lean user experience

Lean user experience

Agile methodologies in software development? It’s a great approach. But how can we transfer these principles over to user experience (UX) design – and what can we expect? This we’ll explore Lean UX.

For clients it can feel like a daunting prospect. They want to be completely confident in the product they are being sold – which usually means signing off wireframes and design before development can begin. But how is it possible to remain iterative during development if UX and design is fixed?

Lean UX favours flexibility. So by integrating UX and design into the agile development process we actually minimise the risk for the client. How? Lean UX teaches us to deal in fact – not assumption.

UX and design ideas are tested on customers before we move on to the build. In turn, eliminating the risk of building a product that your customer does not want.

All you need to do is build a lo-fi prototype – there are some great paper prototyping tools that are quick and easy to use.

Design cycles are short, collaborative and iterative. Lo-fi prototypes are disposable and require minimum effort, meaning you can have a new prototype ready to test in a matter of hours. You can keep tweaking and testing until you are confident you have a concept that brings value to both your users and your business.

It’s cost effective – with less focus upon creating heavy design deliverables. We’re not looking at pixel perfection at this stage, we are testing features that should be editable and disposable. Only once your users have validated a feature can you happily proceed to the build stage – and that’s when the design team can really work their creative magic.

But the UX doesn’t stop there – it’s on to the next cycle and the next feature where collaborative design and testing will begin again.

Lean UX is all about refining ideas, reducing waste and maximising the talents of the entire team to create an experience that customers really want.

Keep your eyes open for more posts on this topic.