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Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience
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Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  5,246 ratings  ·  234 reviews
The Lean UX approach to interaction design is tailor-made for today’s web-driven reality. In this insightful book, leading advocate Jeff Gothelf teaches you valuable Lean UX principles, tactics, and techniques from the ground up—how to rapidly experiment with design ideas, validate them with real users, and continually adjust your design based on what you learn.

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Hardcover, 152 pages
Published March 8th 2013 by O'Reilly Media (first published June 22nd 2012)
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Apr 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Lean UX is a compelling case study that offers the foundational thinking behind, and the practical argument for a shift to Lean UX.
This book is best suited for individuals who are already familiar with and have some experience with Lean methodologies. You won't get lost in any of the concepts if you have no experience in the space-- just the argument for and the nuts and bolts of putting it to use may appear weak if you don't have a stronger foundation.

Lean UX is a wicked problem. The author do
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A must read for the designers and agile practitioners.
Despite some outdated tools and information, the insight provided by the book is invaluable. Maybe including more examples and real case studies could push it to whole new level. All in all, if you want to broaden your understanding on how UX design and agile practices could go hand in hand, you should give it a try.
Lars K Jensen
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: management
This book is part of the newer Lean movement, which followed Eric Ries 'Lean Startup' work. Therefore it might be a good idea to start with Ries's book, but it's not a must.

This book is noticeably shorter, which is both a good and a bad thing. Good, because 'Lean Startup' just wants to cover too much and short, because Gothelf touches on some subjects that should be explored further.

For me the absolutely best part of this book was chapters 7 (combining Lean UX with Agile/Scrum) and 8 (on the org
Rebecca  Karasik
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly much better than I expected. Usually I find these types of books don't offer enough examples, but in this case the authors offered specific examples from their own work experience. Several of the concepts were new for me and for the ones that weren't this book provided a great refresher. ...more
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: at-office
Lean UX is a great overview of how to do User Experience work in an agile team. As a follow on to The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses this book has stories, templates, guidelines to help you both use User Experience Design in an agile team as well as use User Experience to help your agile team do a better job of building the right thing. Much of what you'll read will strike you as "common sense," which, sadly, does not t ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The best UX book I've read. Very practical, gives actual exercises and templates. Lots of examples and organized well. ...more
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lean UX is a great book for beginners from an Agile/Scrum developmental process viewpoint (frankly a smart choice because most software dev teams usually go through these two since it's so efficient). It has several gold pages delineating questions a designer should ask of any project and quite a few golden principles for people going into UX.

Four stars because there were some pages in there that had a needlessly heavy number of pages for what they were- things like "every get 30 seconds to writ
Quinten Vandermeulen
May 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: product
Read Sprint from Jake Knapp instead. It’s the Lean-UX-on-steroids of 2020. The Lean UX book is a bit outdated with no new insights if you are already accustomed with lean and agile development and design thinking.

I hoped for more detailed info on how to conduct user research (crucial in lean UX), but was left with only some general info. I advice Steve Krug’s books and the Mom Test instead.

For its time (2013), it must have been pretty revolutionary. Now, there are better books to read.
Jordana  Simon
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
I've read a lot of other books that hive you the same information in a better and shorter way ...more
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up because I am once again in a situation where I want to improve my effectiveness as a designer inside an agile (startup) team.

This is a quick, surprisingly good read. (I've this far been skeptical of the lean hype, expecting it to be old ideas in new dress.) But this book probably offers the most convincing description of how to marry a user centered design process with an agile software development process I have read to date.

The weakest point for me was an early section on sh
Jimmy Longley
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: textbooks
Reviewed as part of my 100 books challenge:

Run-on Sentence Summary
A short manifesto on how to integrate design work with a software team employing the lean strategy.

When I picked this up, I hadn’t read any of the other "lean startup" books, but understood the basic premise. The fundamental concept of this book, as well as lean in general, is that to build a successful product a team needs to iterate quickly and test often. This book goes into specif
Ahmad hosseini
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: management, web
What is the definition of Lean UX?
It’s the practice of bringing the true nature of a product to light faster, in a collaborative, cross-functional way.

Foundations of Lean UX are:
• User experience design
• Agile software development
• Lean startup
Lean UX team principles:
• Problem-focused
• Cross-functional
• Small, dedicated, collocated
• Self-sufficient and empowered

Lean UX breaks down the barriers that have kept software designers isolated from real business needs on the one hand and actual implemen
Webb Henderson
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: product-design
In a nutshell – design should be continuous (lean startup) and collaborative (this book):

- Use cross-functional teams
- Share understanding of the problem, constraints, assumptions, and potential solutions
- Share ownership of the product design and customer experience (avoid 'hero design')
- Focus on outcomes (vs. outputs)
- Encourage colleagues to contribute through any discipline (vs. established roles)
- Embed design thinking (particularly exposure to customer behavior, emotions, motivations)
- De
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book which I got for attending Jeff's workshop in Graz (Austria) from the man himself. I liked that it was easy to read and follow, yet provided real world examples in addition to the "theory of Lean UX".

The only downside is that I would like to see more on how to fight against traditional "feature factories". As a "lone wolf" it's incredibly hard to fight against dozens if not hundreds of people for a change that many won't understand.
Zoltán Dósa
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although I think this is a really useful book to have, the structure of the book is quite ad-hoc, and without actual experience in the field will not give you a coherent image of the methodology.
A new edition would be welcomed featuring content that is actually taught in Jeff Gothelf's workshops.
In the absence of that, i strongly encourage anyone reading this book to go check out the lean ux canvas, it gives the frame for many things in the book.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is more a manual for starting your product or service and how to manage growth, team and testing. All with Lean mindset. I suggest first read UX for Lean startups and The Lean startup before this one.
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
Modern software projects have a big problem to solve: which framework is the right one for the team to use on the project? A different organization, project and industry, the tools, workflows are all different. The common sense of digital product project that many people ignore is that it is different from traditional manufacture or industrial design.

Lean UX is a combination of workflows, principles and rules for modern digital product design and development. It takes the MVP (Minimum Viable Pr
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having just graduated from university and starting to work as a designer at an early stage startup, the concept of Lean UX was very applicable in my transition towards working life coming from academics.

The book encourages collaboration and rapid testing to validate ideas before committing the time and resources to building a product.

However, implementing Lean UX comes with its fair share of problems. Considering the stakeholders involved, getting people to participate and collaborate isn’t the
Nikolaj Borchorst
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Seminal work on merging the UX design process with agile and Lean Startup. Lean UX proposes to do away with big design up front, hero design, and endless discussions, shifting toward more open collaboration, and explicit hypothesis testing.

It also proposes design systems as scaffolding for the shorter design iterations and tests.

In essence, I completely agree with the overall approach, but also find it to be a little too prescriptive and process heavy with only very little empirical support. It
Pedro Silva
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
I had my expectations set wrong for this book. For some reason I was hoping for more insights on ux examples/best practices and not on the process part. My fault here.

One very simplistic idea that stuck is that everyone should be involved in the processes. It's all fine and good as with much of the concepts presented but hard to see it really working in practice. Sometimes the developers actually do want to code (instead of having meetings, alignments, design studios, customer feedbacks, etc.) i
Bob Ferrante
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just procedural enough

So, when you really want to learn this subject, you're looking for books that explain the theory.

But maybe also you want forms, and examples, and other form of organization, to keep you from spinning in circles on the power of imagination alone. You can get some of that from this book. There's a really valuable quadrant persona layout, for example. And samples of various other capture forms and visualizations.

Then this opinion pops up that agile doesn't mix with lean in h
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ux
As a self-taught UX student, I found this book to be pretty inspiring, with praise-worthy ideas (and examples) that challenge common perceptions of agile. Gothelf's emphasis is to focus on product impact instead of features, test all our assumptions about customers, and incorporate as many of one's team members as possible in the design process. This works to enhance usability as well as to increase a team's sense of ownership, raher than keeping UX in a vacuum.

While this is a refreshing perspec
Carlos Martínez Gadea
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design, business
Brilliant! I already read 'The Lean Startup' and 'This is Service Design Thinking' , but this book is a seto forward on project management and more concretely on how to successfully introduce the Lean methodology to create a more intuitive, logical and co-operative mindset in place in an organisation.

I have proved myself a few of the methods that the author has suggested in the book with very good results. The one I love the most is to avoid creating a big design up front. Having the economic fl
Simon Vandereecken
A tremendously interesting read about the Lean UX process. I've learned quite a lot through it, and also spotted several weakness I've encountered while working with business. It cleared a lot of the processes I'm used to work with, making them more straightforward and efficient. For me it's a must read for anyone working in the UX field nowadays, helping shape products that work in a more powerful way. It also includes user testing throughout the whole process and not just at the end of it, whi ...more
Konstantin Valiotti
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ux
The book is mostly an introduction and a brief overview with an overarching theme of being leaner in product development. Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf describes a mindset rather than specific steps that need to be put in action to change the way teams work, although the last chapter is primarily concerned with advice regardings this transition.

The book is well structured and easy to read, but anyone willing to get comprehensive knowledge of specific concepts about UX is better to turn his or her atte
Marcel Kalveram
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
For someone who's familiar with the Lean Startup principles and has read at least one book on the topic (in my case: Running Lean by Ash Maurya) there's little in this book that you don't already know.

For someone who's new to the topic and comes from a design/UX angle, it will probably provide a lot of new and interesting insights, especially the topic of user testing and continuous iteration.

I think a lot of companies would benefit from the ideas described in this book. Sadly, I know there are
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The very defintion of "short and sweet", Lean UX lays bare the essentials of what makes a proper user experience design process. Much of what is said here is in direct relation to software development. However, I still learned plenty from it to use on my own company projects in the future.

The whole idea is for everyone to get down from their respective towers in the company, collaborate as equals on any project solely based on their skills and interests, consistently keep pushing for improvemen
Khai Sheng
Jan 03, 2021 rated it liked it
I'll admit i went into this book with different expectations, hoping to learn about UX and how to make the process more UX. Although the book does introduce typical UX techniques, it does not however introduce anything particularly groundbreaking towards my understanding of UX. This may be because the book was written quite a while back in 2013 and it may be the pioneer of its time.

What it does pretty well however is produce good examples of how a transformative framework can be applied to the w
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First half of this book is absolutely gold. I truly wish it wold have been published in separate texts as the second half is more a collection of things you probably already know if you’ve been in software product management or UX for long.

But again, the first half presents a model to develop software using collaborative cross-functional teams that I feel is pretty portable across organizations and is missing very little in terms of what you need to roll it out. Must read for anyone trying to im
Joel Davis
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've had this book on my Amazon wish list for quite some time. I ended up managing a project where I found myself in the need of the solution this book proposes, so I finally decided it was time to read it. I'm so glad I did. There was so much in this book that resonated with me. Perhaps the fundamental aspect though is the idea that what we are building should cause some measurable change (outcome) in the real world. So often we just build features without ever coming back to figure out if we s ...more
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79 likes · 31 comments
“It’s often the case that teams working in agile processes do not actually go back to improve the user interface of the software. But, as the saying goes, “it’s not iterative if you only do it once.” Teams need to make a commitment to continuous improvement, and that means not simply refactoring code and addressing technical debt but also reworking and improving user interfaces. Teams must embrace the concept of UX debt and make a commitment to continuous improvement of the user experience.” 3 likes
“Our goal is not to create a deliverable, it’s to change something in the world — to create an outcome.” 2 likes
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