Smashing Magazine: Lean UX — Getting Out Of The Deliverables Business

I love agile.

I love this article about Lean UX even more.

From Smashing Magazine:

Lean UX encourages you, the designer, to show your work early and often to the team, collect their insights and build that into the next iteration of the design. To many folks, this sounds like the dreaded "design by committee" approach, which has killed many designs in years past.

In fact, the designer is still driving the design by aggregating all of that feedback, assessing what works best for the business and the user, and iterating the design forward. By providing insight into the design work to your teammates sooner rather than further down the design road, you accomplish the following:

  1. Ensure that you're aligned with the broader team and the business vision;
  2. Give developers a sneak peek at the direction of the application (speeding up development and surfacing challenges earlier);
  3. Further flesh out your thinking, since verbalizing your concepts to others forces you to focus on areas that you didn't think of when you were pushing the pixels.

The trick is to stay lean: keep the deliverables light and editable. Eliminate waste by not spending hours getting the pixels exactly right and the annotations perfect. Got an idea for a flow? Throw it up on the whiteboard, and grab the product owner or project leader to tell them about it. Ready to design? Rough out the first page of the flow in your sketchpad. How does it feel? Is the flow already evident? Post it in a visible place at the office and invite passers-by to comment on it.

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