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#LeanUXja - Lean User Experience Workshop in Tokyo

On the end of August I had the chance to attend the "Lean UX Workshop" organized by Open Network Lab. The speaker was Janice Fraser, an interaction designer from Silicon Valley who has been consulting many startups for over 15 years. She has facilitated conversation and activities focused on insight of design's role within product management.

It was such a rare oppunity to invite guest from Silicon Valley who have always been in the forefront of UX design to open a full-day workshop here in Tokyo. Janice has also mentioned in workshop that design didn't have any persuasiveness to get closer to business or development until today.

#LeanUXja - 実践的 User Experience ワークショップ

The Lean Startup is a new approach created by entrepreneurs to reduce inventory, risk, and waste, being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. As an example, Dropbox, Instagram, and KISSmestrics have succeeded by this method. Lean UX is practical use of this Lean Startup and an Agile Development Method which I mentioned in the article from the past. An idea is very similar to Agile Development in terms of involvement of UX designers during the development and startup procedure to build User Experience of certain products more speedly and efficiently.

Base objective of Lean UX is to reduce inventory, risk, and waste, effective and reliable in not only startups but the launch of new services. There was a case study of Apple which allowed 90% waste reduction by implementing Lean UX. Here are the key issues of Lean UX:

  1. keep your inventory low
  2. talk to your customers
  3. make something they want
  4. prove your ideas and your interfaces

Main perspective of this workshop was how to harmonize UX design and development within existing UCD and Agile UX method under each process. Lean UX Workshop was divided into several sessions such as "Customer Development Interviews & Generative Research", "Developing product and interface ideas", and "Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation". Each session was about an hour and a half long--hope she didn't get tired of speaking all day long--with many key findings.

  • Assign person in charge for UX Design along with stackeholder and developer
  • Extract elements from user which may be predicted as an early adaptor of corresponding service during user research
  • Testing is essential for design to realize potential and to make more concrete decisions, implement Organizational Evaluation Method
  • Developer has many checkpoints for test, but evaluation of design is only available after the release--isn't that unequal?
  • User testing is like a human liver, it filters out poison, the waste
  • Speed kills sensor, if you are stuck, go faster

We had continuous discussion after the workshop comparing UX expansion between Silicon Valley and Tokyo, with an awareness that establishment and requirement of UX related job position are not yet determined at this place. In other hand, there is also an issue to the UX experts having difficulty to propose way of commitment to the business growth. I think we need an effort discribing added-value of UX in common languages. This issue is very similar to identifying the necessity of User Centered Design, which is impossible to escape unless you belong to the organization of UX design not been formalized.

I would like to focus on educational activities to identify UX releated job definition as well as UX design itself through repeated practice. Thanks to Janice!

Original Japanese version of this article is here.


The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful BusinessesThe Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Eric Ries

Crown Business 2011-09-13
売り上げランキング : 3417

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