I’ve been reading a lot about Lean UX these days and have to admit I’m falling in love with it. After all, what’s not to love about a process that promotes the idea that you don’t have to generate a huge paper trail in order to create a brilliant user experience? Free yourself from the time-consuming, stale, obsolete deliverables you’ve been slaving away over and join us with our lightweight research methods and prototypes!
I’m making it sound much more revolutionary than it really is. Basically, it's just teams working collaboratively to generate and validate designs in an iterative fashion, allowing them to quickly determine the right path to proceed down. It’s, as Jeff Gothelf so aptly put it, “getting us out of the deliverables business.” Which is not to say that we don’t ever have to write anything down or mock anything up, it’s just that we should spend more time crafting the user experience than on creating an abundance of documentation that no one ever reads.
One of the principles behind the Lean UX movement I really like is the focus on teamwork. Creating a shared understanding amongst your developers, designers, and analysts of what is being built and why, has enormous benefits including a new appreciation for what each team member does. Not to mention the time savings that comes from the constant conversations amongst the team. Early on, designers can get a better sense of whether what they’re proposing is technically feasible, and developers can hear first-hand the feedback the analysts are getting from clients.
Anyway, don’t take my word for it. Do your reading! Here are some links to articles written by some champions of the Lean UX movement that I found particularly interesting and thoughtful:
Lean UX: Getting Out Of The Deliverables Business (Jeff Gothelf)
The 9 Principles of Lean User Experience
Is There Any Meat on This Lean UX Thing? (Jared Spool)