Lean-UX is an effective technique where the Agile development is applied. This means that, if a company applies (or wants to apply) Agile principles, Lean-UX is the best option to integrate user-centered design processes. In a nutshell, apply classic UX techniques, usually don’t work when the process requires the deployment in short releases – there’s not much time to deal with the traditional UX production in a profitable way.
Delivering products that meet the customer needs, is the goal of both Lean-UX and other types of product development frameworks. But with Lean-UX, you are able to manage projects in a more holistic manner, involving business decisions and software engineering, in addition to more design activities. In this way, the cross-functional working processes are optimised.
Jeff Gothelf, UX team leader from San Francisco, presented Lean-UX in 2013 publishing Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams.
Under Agile development the teamwork is crucial to delivering good softwares, this means that “We” is more important than “I”. Thanks to this approach, complex problems are simpler to solve, especially if on them there’s a group of people with shared responsibilities, clear tasks and same vision.
The usual definition of “Agile team”, is a cross-functional group of experts that have (more or less) all the necessary skills to apply the Continuous Delivery. There is no formula for the perfect agile team process, some implement Scrum* while others use Kanban*. Some Agile purists prefer co-located teams, but many times the business realities necessitate distributing the team across geographies and call on specialists, even if in house our Agile team possess all the necessary skills.
* Both Scrum and Kanban processes, fit perfectly to Lean-UX framework. If you want to know more, I suggest this article from my colleague Nitish Khagwal, that talks about these topics in a simple and understandable manner.
The workflow process under Lean-UX, is basically a cycle divided in four steps:
Assumptions, hypotheses, outcomes
Research and learning
If the user needs are satisfied (and business goals achieved), the team can move forward to the next project or feature.
As you could see, there’s no rules written in stone and detailed ToDo lists. We should be always curious and constantly teach ourselves to pick up the best of every methodology we use, old or new, it doesn’t matter. In this way, we can find solutions that work for us and the majority of our projects.