Lean UX Principles

Parhum Khoshbakht
Jun 3, 2018 · 4 min read

Lean UX organized principles into three groups:

1. Team Organization

2. Culture

3. Process

Team Organization

Cross-functional teams

Lean UX demands a high level of collaboration between:
Software engineering, product management, interaction design, visual design, content strategy, marketing, quality assurance.

This team create better solutions, because each problem is seen from many different points of view.

Small, dedicated, colocated

Keep your teams no more than 10 total core people. The benefit of small teams comes down to three words: communication, focus, and friendship.

Dedicated team to one project and having the team all in one place allows data sharing and more focus on project.

Self-sufficient and empowered

Give your teams all the capabilities they need to operate without external dependencies. Teams must be able to interact with customers directly in order to get the feedback they need to create effective solutions.

Problem-focused team

A problem-focused team is one that has been given a business problem to solve, as opposed to a set of features to implement. This is a team that has been organized around an outcome.

Benefit of this team:


Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Moving from doubt to certainty

In Lean UX is everything is assumptions until we prove otherwise. As we work, by validating our assumption we are always moving from position of doubt to one of certaint

In the process, our learning lets us become more certain about our positions.

Outcomes, not output

A meaningful and measurable change in customer behaviour is an outcomes:

If a feature is not performing well, we can make an objective decision as to wether it shout be kept, changed or replaced.

Removing waste

The removal of anything that doesn’t lead to the ultimate goal because team resources are limited.

Focus on value creation and waste removal.

Shared understanding

Shared understanding is the collective knowledge that builds up over time as the team works together and It is the currency of Lean UX.

No rock stars, gurus, or ninjas

Lean UX advocates a team-based mentality.

Team cohesion breaks down when you add who are determined to stand out and be stars.

When collaboration breaks down you lose the environment you need to create the shared understanding required to move forward effectively.

Permission to fail

Lean UX teams need to experiment ideas. Permission to fail means that the teams don’t fear for their jobs in which to experiment.


Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Work in small batches to mitigate risk

By working in smaller units or batches, we can design and validate our decisions as we go, which reduces the risk of wasted work.

This means creating only the design that necessary to move the team forward.

Continuous discovery

The goal of continuous discovery during the design and development process is to understand both what the user is doing with your product and why they are doing it.

GOOB: the new user-centricity

Getting out of the building.

Better to test your ideas before you’ve spent time and resources building a product that no one wants.

Ultimately, the success or failure of your product isn’t the team’s decision — it’s the customer’s.

Externalizing your work

Externalizing means getting your work out of your head and out of your computer and into public view.

It allows all the members of the team — even the quiet ones — to participate in information sharing activities. Their sticky notes or whiteboard sketches are equally as loud as the most prominent person on the team.

Making over analysis

Lean UX values making over analysis.

There is more value in creating the first version of an idea than spending half a day debating its merits in a conference room.

Instead of analyzing potential scenarios, make something and get out of the building with it.

Getting out of the deliverables business

Documents don’t solve customer problems — good products do.

The team’s focus should be on learning which features have the biggest impact on its customers.


Gothelf, Jeff. Lean UX: Applying lean principles to improve user experience. “ O’Reilly Media, Inc.”, 2013.

Parhum Khoshbakht

Written by

Head of Product Development at SabaIdea.com, Aparat.com, Filimo.com | Persian UX Articles: https://virgool.io/@parhumm and http://parhum.net

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