Lean UX - What it means
Even niche tech companies cannot ignore the growing expectation of software products being easy to use and coming with a slick modern user interface. On top of that, product capabilities need to deliver true value to various customer groups, bridging the gap between different working methods and knowledge levels.
In recent years, investing more effort in improving the user experience of our products, we have learned to establish a culture and mindset that embraces user experience with lean-agile working methods adapted from the Lean Startup movement and Scaled Agile Framework. New capabilities are accordingly created in rapid iteration cycles of “Build - Measure - Learn”, often using so called prototypes to gather fast feedback from our customers before turning capabilities into code.
Our guiding principle of lean UX is continuous exploration - the quest of truly understanding the problems we encounter in our industry and persistently moving forward to build evidence for potential solutions and improving them until we can give the best possible value.
Product Usage - Qualitative interviews & testing
Before we release new updates or product increments, we take a deep dive into market or customer requirements to ensure we understand the problem scope and are able to frame it sufficiently. Unfortunately, this cannot happen by just visiting prospective customers and taking notes over a cup of coffee - it is often very crucial to understand who you are talking to and why and requires a lot of post-processing to deliver the “right” answers.
We honour the concept of “Gemba Walk” here, a main principle from the lean management philosophy, which teaches to listen and learn in context, without preconceptions.
In case of complex problem statements, we try to visualize our findings in a variety of wireframes and discuss these with our internal experts and partners. While moving forward from doubt to certainty, we put more detail in the UI screens and involve various customer groups to observe how they interact with the UI and listen to their assumptions and findings.
Following these qualitative tests, we build the first minimum capability for quantitative feedback.