Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience, written by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden, is a short 124 pages long and can be read in one sitting or referenced by chapter individually at different times for specific application. Key word(s) that are theme of the book are: collaboration, communication, and cooperation. These are the three Cs that should be part of any thriving business.
The term “user experience” is typically dedicated to the design aspect of product development, but this book shows how to apply certain principles to include everyone on your project team in the process. It’s less about discussing the technicalities of user experience (although it definitely does that) and more focused on creating a group structure that benefits everyone for a successful end result. The book is broken down into three sections: overview, process, and integration. Following the outline of these sections and the associated chapters makes it easy to not just learn the techniques, but implement them as well.
- Section I is an introduction to the basic principles of Lean UX design process. Understanding the founding principles builds a foundation for the later chapters of development.
- Section II details the process of creating the user experience and details step-by-step instructions and gives examples signifying the importance.
- Section III takes what’s learned in the first and second sections and teaches how to integrate the practices into your own business or organization on a corporate, team and individual level.
Each chapter goes through actionable items step-by-step through the entire user experience process. Each chapter also ends with a conclusion that sums up the benefit of the method and how to implement it. There are questions to be answered and evaluated before the project even begins. Questions like:
- Where does our product fit into work/life?
- What problems does our product solve?
- Who is the user?
Identifying these parameters upfront keep people on track and focused on the same goal. Chapter 8 - Making Organizational Shifts is most relevant to marketing business as it discusses the organization behind product development and importance of input from all teams. It covers issues such as cross-functional teams and problem solving and how this benefits organizations. The value of organizational shifts is that people are more engaged and in tune with the project and will provide the best feedback and contribution to the design process and overall user experience. Even if you are not entrenched in the product development phase at your company, this book will also give valuable guidelines to encourage creativity and productivity. It’s a particularly beneficial book for design, UX and product teams. However, all contributors on any level to this process can benefit from an organization, strategic and communicative viewpoint.