The UX process has undergone a lot of transformation over time in terms of shape, definition, and ramification. Its importance in building a solid and lasting product is indisputable and we see that in all the big companies out there that have hundreds of UX designers.
But still, today we live in a kind of paradox. Even though the importance of UX is obvious and well known across all businesses with a lot of success stories, there are still a lot of companies that don’t really invest that much in it and focus more on how to build their product rather than why they build it. The phrase: “Just add some UX on it” it’s still topical, unfortunately.
In startups, this issue can be more visible simply because a lot of them fail and disappear, as opposed to bigger companies that simply bury their failures. Of course, there may be other reasons for failure but building the wrong product at the wrong time or at the wrong speed are some of the biggest and those mistakes are often UX related.
Let’s go through some key aspects that can transform the way you build products with an impact on costs and development time, consequently making the investment less risky:
- Lean Startup
- Lean UX
- Start by aligning the team
- Validation of assumptions
- Cross-functional team
- Measurement and testing
1. Lean Startup
Eric Ries’s book “The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses” had a huge impact on how products are built all around the globe. Even if at a first glance it seems like a book written only for startups, the method has been adopted in large organizations as well as a new way to build and launch new products or features.
Lean Startup is a methodology that aims to shorten the development cycles and rapidly discover if the business model is viable. At its core, this methodology helps startups or teams to quickly validate assumptions in an iterative process by building an MVP (Minimal Viable Product), measure it, and learn from findings.
Photo from http://theleanstartup.com/principles
2. Lean UX
There are at least two books that I recommend regarding this:
- “UX for Lean Startups: Faster, Smarter User Experience Research and Design” — by Laura Klein
- “Lean UX: Designing Great Products with Agile Teams” — by Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden
In both, you can find how the UX process works in lean environments and “how product teams can easily incorporate design, experimentation, iteration, and continuous learning from real users into their Agile process”.
Lean UX is an iterative cycle of Think (Research, Ideation, Test Results), Make (Sketch, Prototype, Wireframes, Hypothesis, Value Proposition) and Check (Analytics, A/B Testing, Sign Up, Usage Metrics). This basically means that you will constantly validate whether you are building something that people are going to use in terms of usability and usefulness.
Photo from https://www.hotjar.com/blog/lean-ux/
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