The Lean UX Mindset

Lean UX Conference in New York City.

At Roundarch Isobar we?ve been fortunate enough to be working the Lean UX way for years. While we don?t directly attach the ?Lean UX? label to the way we do things, it is part of our DNA.? There?s been a lot of talk lately about Lean UX and we think it?s more than a fad — we see it as an enduring mindset shift that reinforces our philosophy; as a benefit to our clients and ultimately their customers.

Lean UX is a way of working that is extremely collaborative and cross-functional — it is the evolution of product design that emphasizes shared understanding among all teammates.? By working closely together, across disciplines, and gaining that collective understanding of the project details, the amount of extensive documentation that?s typically required for hand-off?s in a ?siloed? environment is reduced considerably.? Lean UX shifts us from thinking in terms of requirements and deliverables, toward creating outcomes.

The practice of Lean UX is about being able to quickly design what’s most essential — the “minimum viable product? — by getting enough customer feedback to validate it and provide input for the next iteration. ?Informal testing is great for this and can be as simple as reviewing some static wireframes, or even doing some quick sketches on a whiteboard together!? During more formal testing, don?t show them how to use it, instead give it to them and pay attention to what they do with it — just watch them.? Clickable mockups and coded experiences are ideal for this.? Ideally you want to see a small number of customers every week.? Test everything early and often — continuously.

Any project can benefit by applying Lean UX and while some projects are better suited for Lean UX than others, Lean UX is best for projects with limited information.? Most importantly Lean UX is a mindset and it?s also a communication process.? The key is working closely in cross-functional cooperation among the entire team and that includes the client and their customers.