I came across the concept of “Lean UX” from a Chinese UX blog, talking about how to simplify and cut unnecessary UX design process to face the rapid updating market. The traditional UX development, as we learned from most courses, are recognized as deliverable-based process. UX researchers/designers are supposed to render different kinds of deliverables. However, the whole process with fine reports requires a relative long period (typically several months) to define the requirements of the products. This would be a great risk for IT companies nowadays, putting them in a position that the product might already out of date when developed. Also, there is a great waste of time and deliverables that could not be directly turned into final experience. To solve the problem, Lean UX was brought up with following features:
- Cut completed documentations to bare components necessary for implementation.
- Split long design process into short, iterative, and low-fidelity cycles; gather team-wide suggestions during iterative cycles.
- Stop pushing pixels, pick up whiteboards, pencils, papers, or even napkins to convey early ideas of workflows.
There are several benefits of Lean UX: the entire team could get more involved into the design process, and gain the sense of owner through this process; stakeholder could get more exposed in an early stage; cost is low for improvement and redesign. Drawbacks of Lean UX are obvious: designers might loose control of the design through the iterative cycles, with constant input from the entire team. This requires UX designers have big visions of the products to hold or approve different suggestions.
Article read: Jeff Gothelf’s post on Smashing Magazine.