Vladimir Puric

User experience / User interaction Design

Something about Lean UX

Inspired by Lean and Agile development theories, Lean UX is the practice of bringing the true nature of our work to light faster, with less emphasis on deliverables and greater focus on the actual experience being designed.

Traditional documents are discarded or, at the very least, stripped down to their bare components, providing the minimum amount of information necessary to get started on implementation. Long detailed design cycles are eschewed in favour of very short, iterative, low-fidelity cycles, with feedback coming from all members of the implementation team early and often. Collaboration with the entire team becomes critical to the success of the product.

Lean UX process

Lean UX is focused strictly on the design phase of the software development process. The goal is to get the core components of the idea or workflow visualised quickly and in front of your team. The team begins to provide their insights on the direction of the design as well as its feasibility.

Spotify example by Henrik Kniberg

The most commonly cited example of good practice is the model that is implemented by Spotify – a Swedish lean startup, with over 1 million paying subscribers in the US. They took an iterative approach combining elements from Lean Startup, Agile, and MVP methodologies. In Spotify core philosophy is:

  • We create innovative products while managing risk by prototyping early and cheaply.
  • We don’t launch on date, we launch on quality.
  • We ensure that our products go from being great at launch to becoming amazing, by relentlessly tweaking after launch.

All major product initiatives go through four stages – “Think It”, “Build It”, “Ship It”, and “Tweak It”. The next Figure – Lean + UX + Agile in Spotify model illustrate the flow from idea to product, and what comes out of each stage along the way.

  • Think It = figure out what type of product we are building and why.
  • Build It = create a minimum viable product that is ready for real users.
  • Ship It = gradually roll out to 100% of all users, while measuring and improving.
  • Tweak It = Continuously improve the product. This is really an end state; the product stays in Tweak It until it is shut down or reimagined (= back to Think It).
Lean + UX + Agile in Spotify model