Spreading the lean UX love
I am so touched by the video Club Agile Rhône-Alpes de Lyon (@cara_lyon) made during their version of my ALE session “Building an MVP that works for users” (slides). Thank you! This is exactly what motivated me to do it in the first place, spreading my love for lean UX.
This all started back when I attended Eewei Chen’s Agile 2011 workshop, How to design stuff that matters, fast. It was the best brainstorming session ever!
Sure, I was lucky enough to have Adrian Smith and Jonathan Rasmusson, the agile warrior himself, on my team… but it wasn’t just that. Being able to cover key design phases in such a short period of time blew my mind!
I was truly inspired and deeply touched by it! My first reaction was: I need to share this with everyone who couldn’t make it to this session!
I was going to write a blog post about it, but both Eewei Chen (see link above) and Jonathan Rasmussen beat me to it, so I never got around to finding enough motivation to write yet a 3rd post.
But this video by agilistas from CARA Lyon made me find my motivation to finally write the post. Thanks guys!
The version I facilitated at ALE 2012 was probably my 5th iteration, and had evolved significantly from Eewei’s workshop. But at its core, it was still important to keep the hands-on workshop that let participants experience UX by themselves.
Besides wanting to show participants the breadth of UX techniques, I also wanted everyone to experience product design first hand, and most importantly to realize that even though everyone in their team knew exactly what they had just designed and how it was going to be used, if they actually got somebody else from another team to test it, the user would invariably run into all kinds of usability problems (even though they had been designing such a product themselves!). This to me was the key takeaway from the workshop: you need to test early and test often… because you are not your user!
Paper prototype testing is very cheap and anybody can do it. So any time you think you’ve nailed your design, don’t stop there, test it on somebody else before you start building it! Even if your user is not what you consider to be a target user for your application (or persona), anyone else trying to use your paper prototype is likely to run into basic usability issues, such as holes in the navigation system or bad labels.
In any case, as far as I know, this is how the lean UX love has spread so far:
Utah > Australia / Canada / Pittsburgh > Barcelona > Dallas > Barcelona > Lyon…
and I hope it keeps spreading!