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What is Lean UX?

One of the most important concepts of Lean UX is to validate product ideas with users early and often in order to keep learning. Lean UX centers around validating hypothesis in order to build faster and better products.

Instead of thinking of a product as a series of features to be built, Lean UX looks at a product as a set of hypothesis to be validated. We don’t assume that we know what the user wants. We do user interviews and research to develop a hypothesis about what the customer might want, and then test the hypothesis in various ways to see if we were right.

Lean Loop

Minimize total time through the loop

The Lean Loop

Why is Lean UX important?

Lean UX eliminates waste, builds in quality and delivers faster.

Lean UX is the best way to build great products. It eliminates waste, builds in quality, creates knowledge, delivers fast, and iterates to optimise. Lean UX eliminates anything that isn’t adding value and focuses on product features and product changes that will impact the targeted metrics which could be revenue, engagement, signups and so on. Consequently, you save time and money building something that has no impact on your business. Especially as a startup where we work on short deadlines and limited budgets that won’t last forever, building something that nobody will use could break your business.

Lean UX centers around the user’s problem to build products that the user wants.

Lean UX centers around the user. We build products that actually solve the user’s problem by having the user involved in every step of the product development. We focus on building features that are minimal and viral, so we can ship, test and iterate fast. The shorter the build, the more iterations we can do to build great products that customers will love.

So in a nutshell, Lean UX is the best way to use your time, budget and resources to create great products and successful businesses.

What’s the difference between Lean and Agile?

You probably have come across the term Agile Development and are now wondering what the difference is to Lean Development. In a nutshell, Lean optimises the Agile Approach by using the best design practises from Agile Design and introducing a few new things that aren’t found in other design practises that have come before it.

Lean UX prevents startups failure

Incredible 9 out of 10 startups fail

In the media, startup unicorns are celebrated but we are rarely exposed to those who work hard 24/7 to make their business work for years and eventually fail. The fact is, 9 out of 10 startups fail, but the media only celebrates the startup winners, and rarely puts the spotlight on those who don’t make it. We have this unrealistic idea of what it means to be an entrepreneur - we have this idea that if we only work hard enough, and put our heart and soul into it (and all our money), eventually the business will take off. We will be celebrated in the media and finally have a billion dollar exit. We use the new gained fame and money to be off to the next business, bigger and better than first one. But before we do, we will take a year off, and just travel the world. We definitely deserve it!

The #1 reason for startups to fail is that there is no market need

Reality is, most startups remain in the “wilderness” - where no matter what we do, the business just doesn’t seem to take off. The lucky ones amongst us, who were able to raise capital, have a longer run to test new ideas and roll out new features. And, when nothing seems to works, we pivot (oh haven’t will all done that!) - but it is too late and we run out of money. As Startup founders, we are the captain of our ship and we remain on it until the bitter end. To the outside, we carry a big smile and pretend everything is okay, but our inside world is pure chaos! We are stressed, anxious and beginning to doubt our abilities.

Startup founders are my heros! We sacrifices our time, friends and family to innovate and build businesses that will improve people’s lives. We jump into the uncertainty with the strong mindset that we can do it. Yes, we are utterly delusional most of the time - but if we weren’t, we wouldn't jump into the unknown, hoping that we’ll make it to the ground in one piece. Without risk there is no innovation.

Do Lean UX to prevent building a product that people don’t want.

Now imagine you knew how to shrink this uncertainty, and build an innovative product that is more likely to succeed!

As a UX designer and startup founder myself, I have worked with over 50 startup businesses worldwide. Over the years, I come to know that you can actually reduce the uncertainty of a new business by using effective tools and applying clever methods that will enable you to build products that people actually want and will buy. Lean UX provides a framework that helps to identify your customers’ real problems, and enables you to find validated ways to solve these problems. At the core of Lean UX is user interviews, research and data analytics, and if you apply it correctly and early on, not only will you get to your end goal before you run out of money but you will get there faster and better, and thereby save time and money!

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