Build the right thing

Kanban boards help us limit our work-in-progress (WIP) and make current work-in-progress visible. Without a kanban board we often neglect to address work that is stuck or churning.

A kanban board for hypothesis-driven development helps alleviate three pains:

  • It’s difficult to know which experiment has higher priority


Hypotheses without measures or predictions are just assumptions. Assumptions come from anywhere: Conversations, observations. …

Andreas Trepte

Don’t let the best ideas go unnoticed

“Simplicity is not the goal of Lean UX Branding. It is the by-product of a good idea, modest expectations, iterative executions and ruthless cutting.”—Will Evans & Thomas Wendt, Lean UX Branding

“Lean is about being an athlete, not a skeleton.”—Unknown

We don’t have a logo.

I recently received an email from one of the organizers of LAUNCH Festival in San Francisco. If you haven’t heard, LAUNCH was where Dropbox and other notable startups have made their debuts and subsequently secured funding from investors. The LAUNCH organizers proposed a generous offer to Lean UX SF: 50 free LAUNCH tickets for community members. All we had to…

PLan de Paris (C. 1900) — Louis Bretez

Out of a silent and subtle mystery emerge images

Defending The Wrong Thing

Something used to trouble me. As I presented design documents to my team they would focus on minor details rather than the big picture. The question of whether a loading spinner should appear in the center or top left of a dialogue became more critical than if the feature to be built was compelling for a user in the first place. People would say things like “I would expect to see….” or “I like it when…”. What about what the customers would expect? What about what the customers like? I felt like I was defending my ideas, constantly. …

Abu Dhabi Airport — Ralf Roletschek

Design for activities

“How often we neglect to address the purposes of those who are in the system and those of the environment.”—Béla Bánáthy

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.”—John Donne

Design for Activities, Not Individuals

Most products support activities underpinned by collaboration and sharing. Designing for individuals may actually be harmful because these activities reflect ongoing transformations of artifacts, individuals, and social interactions. Focusing on individuals might improve things for one person at the cost of others. As Donald Norman says in Human-Centered Design Considered Harmful:

The more something is tailored for the…

Mike Long

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store