How To Be Lean In User Experience Design

By July 5, 2011

Reality check:  9/10 of new products fail.

Lean User Experience

“User experience is critical to the product success. Bad user experience will sink great business solutions,” said Bernhard Kappe during a Chicago Lean StartUp Circle meetup last week. It doesn’t matter how great the idea, concept or business model, if a consumer is not able or willing to use the product, then what’s the point?

Lean User Experience was an event that brought Lean Startup experts Bernhard Kappe and Bob Moll of Pathfinder Software, a Chicago-based company that specializes in helping companies create, launch and develop successful software products, to discuss how to successfully use the Lean Startup Approach for successful product development. Held at the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) on June 30th, 2011, a packed a room of designers, developers and entrepreneurs got some valuable tips on how to pursue a lean process for design and development of products.

The Lean Startup Approach, practiced by both startups and large companies, is a way to find market opportunities and to new create products and services that serve those markets.

The Lean Startup Approach

The same method can be applied to the design and development of new products.

User experience (UX) is critical to the adoption and use of software products. When designing a product, one has to take into account a variety of product characteristics: practicality, utility, ease of use, efficiency of the system, aesthetics, human interaction, and much more.

Too often UX is long design process cycles that slows down a project. Lean UX incorporates design within a lean start-up approach, incorporating “rapid build-measure-learn cycles, with feedback coming early and often.” With a constant feedback loop, companies are able to quickly figure out what works and what doesn’t, then quickly make the necessary adjustments.

Kappe stressed the importance of focusing on true purpose of the product. Too often designers and developers get bogged down with the technicalities and overlook the main goal of the product. He advised to always ask “what problem does this product solve?”

Whether it’s an easier, faster, or more convenient way to get something done, if your product makes someone’s life easier, then you’re on the right track.

Check out the Lean User Experience slides below: