What is Lean Startup?
- Comes from the Lean Startup movement; it’s about build, measure, learn
- GOOB – Get out of the Building
- Invalidate Your Risky Assumptions
- Go for the Minimal Viable Product (MVP)
- Fail fast, learn fast
- Get to the pivot
What is Lean UX?
- Designing products for build, measure, learn (lean startup)
- Requires 3 rules to be followed at all times
- Get to and maintain a Shared Understanding
- The more understanding, the less documentation
- Deep Collaboration
- Strong belief that ideas come from many different voices
- Trust is essential
- All efforts never stray far from collaborative efforts
- Continuous Customer Feedback
- This is the lifeblood of the team
- Gets rid of politics
- Turns a team outside-in
- Continuous Customer Feedback – Get out of the Building (GOOB)
- Customer metrics drive everything
- Think it. Build it. Ship it. Tweak it.
- Fail Fast. Learn Fast
- Lots of experimentation…
- Build, Measure, Learn
- Launching PS3 for Netflix
- 16 different test cells
- 2 different tech blogs were simultaneously reviewing different experiences
- Focus was on build, measure, learn
- HTML5 drive them to learn fast with their customers–they used HTML5 to make that possible.
- The one that they thought would win ended up not being the one that was chosen by users
And now, Bill goes to PayPal…
- Paypal had a roll your own culture
- Disconnected delivery–deliver but get no data/feedback
- Long Shelf life–takes for ever to get things out the door
- Product managers rush to cram their features out the door because of the release cycles
- Lots of cramming, lots of featuritis
- Culture of a long shelf life and inward focusing; very risk averse
- New DNA at PayPal
- Fleshed out UI layer that could support rapid experimentation
- David Marcus becomes president of PayPal
- Hermes Project
- Used a variant of Lean UX; doesn’t have to be religious
- Agile running at the same time
Before Lean UX/After Lean UX
- Bill shows screen shots that show some pretty significant differences. Things got simpler
- “Some feelings got hurt by designers who create things that look like Picasso and then they sort of get dumped on my developers”
- All design emanates from an Huber Designer. Team doesn’t collaboratively participate in design/ideation
- Solution: Keep the inspiration of genius designer but bring in others to brainstorm. Focus on MVP to test with customers immediately; critical to build team success early.
- Everyone is a genius designer; without customer feedback you’re just getting a lot of arguing–get to the customers and get stuff resolved.
- When a team is very small, members are forced to work across disciplines. As soon as team gets bigger, tribes reform around skills. Collaboration stops.
- Solution: keep team reasonably small. leaders in each discipline must form a tribe that works across disciplines; keep collaboration high.
- Lean teams will form shared understanding, however when a new “stranger” joins, we assume this hard earned understanding will just happen.
- Solution: The team must immediately stop and initiate the newcomer. Be patient, answer questions, reset vocabulary and enjoy the new voice in the team. Get back to regular cadence.
- Teams will often make a good start by trying out new behaviors and seemingly leave old behaviors behind. Beware! Old habits will creep back in.
- Solution: You must do it long enough and be successful long enough to ensure team members internalize the new habits. Build in checks and balances that enforce new habits.
- With collaboration so important, it is key to believe in the process to create great products. A single naysayer can bring the team down in an instant.
- Solution: The naysayer must either learn new techniques or leave the team. Often they have valid concerns; channel that energy convergence time not divergent thinking.
- Can’t be tolerated; get rid of the negative energy asap.
- Input from outside the team is essential, however, watch out. People cycling in and out of the team can cause the same disruption that the stranger anti-pattern causes. Also know as Seagull: swoop and poop, HIPPO, etc.
- Solution: customer trumps visitor. Take input, test early and often with customers. That is the only “visitor” that ultimately matters.
- Design and prototyping tools can accelerate ideation and design, however, be careful. Tools that empower prototyping can enable designers to work in isolation
- Solution: Use tools as means to collaborate. Never revert to “deliver” model of design. Sketching is a real key to encouraging collaboration. Also “design in the wild” approach.
- Might be better to encourage sketching, learning HTML5 for prototyping, and even using storyboarding to walk people through the story of what’s happening.
- When a developer, product manager, or designer goes dark for more than a day (or two) the team is losing valuable collaboration.
- Solution: Working in isolation is necessary from time to time. However, limit to short periods of time. Make work continuously visible, balance individual productivity with group creativity.
Change of Cadence
- Change of cadence is actually a good and normal happening, however, whenever the rhythm changes, it can bring productivity down.
- Solution: prepare the team for the change and quickly get focus and re-establish with new cadence.
Too Many Cooks
- The work needs to be divided up among different types of cooks (Chef de cuisine, Sous-chef, Chef de partie, etc.)
- Solution: Have clear decision makers in each discipline and have specific roles (you can also rotate these functions).
Not Enough Pizza
- When a team suddenly scales up in size, the team is in danger of losing cadence
Tower of Babel
- Shared understand is key to lean UX. However, it is easy to assume too quickly that team members are speaking the same language.
- Solution: Always ask “what do you mean by X?” Always ensure other disciplines understand your jargon. Spend time with customers together. Get a shared language.
You’ve Got Mail
- Teams can revert to email over collaboration. Also geographically distributed teams can fall into delivery by email vs. Collaboration.
- Solution: Utilize high bandwidth communication (face to face, hangouts, telepresence, magic whiteboards, etc.)
Inmates Running the Asylum
- This is from Alan Coopers book of the same name. When engineers drive design the inmates are running the asylum
- Solution: Front end engineers must partner with product/design
- Not embracing the challenge of the unknown, the perfectionist will not share their work tip it is perfect. Easy for designers to fall into this trap.
- Solution: Share early, often, and incomplete. Feedback and appropriate critique is key.
- Walls between teams can happen when we allow tribes to form, we see other teams as delivery factories, etc.
Tangled Up Technology
- Unless the technology stack is built to have a clear separation from experience and services, the lean team cannot make rapid progress. Watch out when dev teams care too much about the specific version of the UI
- Solution: key patterns include building services and CLIs, etc.