Designing with lean UX

At the UXLX conference Kate gave us tools to use Lean Startup principles with fun methods. The workshop contained a few steps to make a low-fi product concept by envision, experiment and then share it with the rest of the group. By using lean rapid methods, it was quite easy to understand if the product concept would make it or not.

What are these methods then? Lean UX methods are often used in startups. A startup is an institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty. You need to experiment, validate learnings and reduce waste. And that is basically what the methods help you do. Validate and reduce.

Lean UX
…and do this again.

First, define your users. Who are they? What do they like? What do they don't like? Throw that away. How do their lives look like? When you know your target group you need to define their needs. 

What can a user DO with your product? What will they not do? Throw that away. How will they do that? Are there any features to add that might help our users? 

We had five minutes to come up with an idea to test. Sketched it out on papers, used post-its on the wall, sketched something new, threw some ideas away. We sketched out personas with needs, how they live and what they like, why and when they need our product, and what features that they will need.

Finally we had a concept in three hours. What to do next? How do you actually know this is working? You need to measure what matters. A good metric measures the usage of your product by a person. But a great metric makes you look at all the other metrics and say “None of those matter if we don’t get this right first”.

Signups (unhelpful)
Total number of registered users (vanity)
% of new users per week (good)
% of users who sign in 3 times a day, per week (better)
% of users who share a task 3+ times a day, per week (awesome)

At Nansen Stockholm we usually work with agile development, and that works very well in most of our projects. I think this method definitely is something to try out, especially when designing a new product or service.