Summary of Lean UX

A book by Jeff Gothelf, with Josh Seiden

3 Foundations

  1. Design thinking (User centered design, using design approaches to innovate and solve business problems)
  2. Agile software development (individuals & interactions, working software, collaboration, responding to change)
  3. Lean startup method (build, measure, learn)


  • Cross functional teams
  • Small, dedicated, colocated
  • Progress = outcomes not output
  • Problem focussed teams
  • Remove waste
  • Small batch sizes
  • Continuous discovery
  • Getting out of the building
  • Shared understanding
  • Antipattern: Rockstars, Gurus & Ninjas
  • Externalising the work
  • Making over analysis
  • Learning over growth
  • Permission to fail
  • Getting out of the deliverables business

The Lean UX loop:

  1. Declare assumptions
  2. Create an MVP
  3. Run an experiment
  4. Feedback & research
  5. Goto 1


Vision, framing and outcomes

Start with assumptions instead of requirements. Create and test hypotheses:

  • Assumptions: what we believe to be true
  • Hypotheses: morge granular descriptions of our assumptions that target specific areas of the product or workflow
  • Outcomes: the signal we seek from the market to help (in)validate the hypothesis
  • Personas: models of the people for whom we believe we are solving a problem
  • Features: the changes or improvements we believe will drive the outcomes we seek

Collaborative design

  • Everybody gets to design
  • Low fidelity artefacts increase collaboration
  • Build shared understanding


  • Design studio
  • Style guides and pattern libraries
  • Collaboration for distributed teams

MVP’s & Experiments

  • Determine product focus: deliver value or increase learning
  • MVP: Do people need it? Will it provide value? Will it be usable?
  • Prototype: Who will interact? Learning what? Time available?
  • Experiments without prototypes: email, google adwords., landing page, button to nowhere

Feedback and research

  • Collaborative research techniques
  • Continuous research techniques (3 users every thursday)
  • What to test, what results to expect
  • Incorporate the customers voice
  • A/B testing
  • Reconcile contradictory feedback


Making organisational shifts

  • Shift from output to outcomes
  • From limited roles to collaborative capabilities
  • Embrace new skills
  • Create cross functional teams
  • Crate small teams
  • Create open, collaborative workspaces
  • Not relying on heroes
  • Eliminate big design up front
  • Speed over aesthetics
  • Value problem solving
  • Embrace UX debt
  • Shift agency culture
  • Work with 3rd party vendors
  • Navigate documentation standards
  • Being realistic about your environment
  • Managing up and out