Lean UX is a systematic approach to UI and GUI application and software creation that assumes the following:
- That the development team will be working with limited staff members
- That the priority is with the outcome, not the process
- That the process will be able to be maintained over time
- Assumes that evaluation and hypothesis testing should precede production
- Takes a “problem-solving” approach to the issue at hand
- Involves a focus on user feedback and addressing customer concerns
- Being transparent by allowing all team members involved to know and understand the process
Why Lean UX?
Lean UX is based upon a philosophy started by Toyota many years ago called Lean Thinking. The philosophy behind it encompasses minimizing waste, continuous improvement, and the measurement and evaluation of the final product before investing additional time and money before ramping up production. This concept has translated well for technology products because it uses sound measurement techniques and employs frequent evaluation of a product based on user interactions and input. This not only tells you if you are on the right track with your initial design concept, but also allows you to tweak and change a flawed design before you get too far into the production process, which saves both time and money. Lean Thinking has been applied to many business development models, from entrepreneurial endeavors to technology development.
Innovate and Improve
The Lean UX approach takes the process of creation down to a streamlined methodology of innovation and improvement. Eric Ries, author of the New York Times Best Seller The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, stressed that the Lean approach follows a process, which can be learned and applied in a principled approach. The process should be streamlined to eliminate uncertainty associated with the “just do it” approach.
One of the best concepts inherent in Lean UX is the feedback loop, also known as the build-measure-learn approach. It assumes that establishing a minimum viable product is more important than launching with perfection. Without the minimum viable product, there isn’t anything to measure, improve upon, or gain feedback.
Applications to UI and GUI Development and Design
Lean UX is the ideal model to guide the actions of a UI/GUI applications project due to its ability to “correct as you go” through user feedback, which will increase the potential revenue and feasibility of your creations. In addition to this, if you have a product that is already on the market, and you need to make design changes, you will want to utilize this engine as well to ensure that you transition customers in a smooth manner.
Lean UX is helpful to graphic design artists because the graphic interface is a very integral part of the UI and UX of a product. Visual appeal and ease of use are all a part of the graphic design so Lean UX helps achieve this by focusing on the impact the design is having on users via customer feedback and surveys, A/B testing, etc.
This kind of approach focuses on the user experience and results in a higher level of customer satisfaction. The process cannot move forward without customer validation, significantly decreasing chances of failure, and making full use of UI and GUI development and design, planning and analysis. Lean UX is a principled approach, but it leaves room for flexibility and collaboration. And that makes EVERYONE happy!