#LeanUX – Insights Into a Greater User Experience

I had the pleasure of listening to an insightful webinar this morning about Lean UX, presented by Jeff Gothelf. He took the time to explain the different ways organizations can optimize their existing assets, going into detail about the ways that it can help all types of businesses. Many times, large organizations considering lean UX are put off, as they associate the term with startups and/or small businesses. These corporations and agencies don’t believe that lean UX is the ideal route for them. They are mistaken.

Perhaps it is because the term’s definition isn’t widely known. Essentially, it involves a set of principles that guide you to a better and more sustainable solution for your users. Who wouldn’t find that desirable? In fact, because of their domain and customer expertise, larger corporations actually have more resources at their disposal to create the best user experience possible. Using each tool at varying levels of intensity, tailored to each consumer, is one of the most optimal ways of personalizing ux. 

One of the aspects of lean ux involves going through a process of sustained innovation. Sustaining innovation allows you to find new ways to thrive with your existing business, truly creating and recreating as you traverse through each new iteration of your project or product creation. It involves thinking on your feet, collaborating every step of the way, and remaining transparent throughout.

Unsure how to begin that innovative process? Think about what is unique about your company, what advantages you possess that others are afraid to pursue. Meet with various individuals within your company who can lend their own perspective to what makes your organization different from your competition.

How can you learn from Lean UX?

Take the time to learn about targeting your content – research who you want to reach out to and how to speak to different types of individuals specifically, on their own plane. You should be able to explain how you give value with targeted information and content. Understand what each segment cares about and re-frame your content to enhance multifaceted connection.

Get true and emotional buy in by using language that your audience connects with. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going into technical detail about your products – your audience is a smart crowd, and are capable of grasping the concepts behind your creation. However, make sure that whatever information you provide is uniquely tailored to your intended users; this makes the crucial difference between understanding and genuine connection.

Taking it a step further – talk to customers, both individuals that currently use and who have stopped using your product. Start a forum and open the conversation in order to see why the competitors solved their problem (what drove them away from your product), why it’s better and what can be improved on your own side based on that information. This type of information is truly invaluable, and is the insight that your clients will be looking for.

As a final tip, try to have a technical liaison to facilitate in obtaining validated learning – this person will be in charge of getting information over clearly and succinctly to different departments, bridging any gaps. This type of individual is perfect in organizations that have multiple departments that find consistent communication difficult as they take on various projects. Of course, in an ideal world, you all work together and are agile as a group.

One can pose the following question: There seems to be a lot of risk involved within this approach. How big is too big of a risk?

If you’re tasked with a broad innovation mandate, you can take bigger risks. However, if it’s a smaller project, don’t necessarily rework a method or product that has been serving you well for a long time. If you’re asked to shake things up (like the business itself) and create an entirely new plan or methodology, then it’s a fantastic idea to take bigger risks (the bigger the risk in this case, the more likelihood for a productive and positive outcome). An easier way of looking at it is by considering the process to be directly proportional – small tasks involve smaller amounts of risk, and bigger tasks, bigger risk.

Lean UX is a different kind of engagement. It involves increased skepticism, shorter deliverable cycles, and more changes coupled with smaller risks. When speaking to a client, set the expectation that it is a different sort of project. Talk and detail every level to them often, armed with each new piece of information that was learned. Above all, you cannot make decisions for the client. The entire interaction must be a discovery process, and communication is key to ensure the best results.

Esther Gutkovsky

Esther is a Content Strategist at ArtVersion Interactive Agency. She first discovered a passion for marketing while studying brand management – since that moment, Esther has rejoiced in using her creative and writing skills within a field that allows for limitless self-expression and ingenuity.

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