By Nicole Hitner, Exago
Lean UX, sister discipline to the agile development method, is user experience design and usability testing for fast-paced software teams. UX designers build flowcharts, construct wireframes, and conduct user research to help teams design new product features. A UX designer working with an agile team would do all these things while adhering to the tenets of lean UX.
But since we can’t really talk about lean UX until we understand agile, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page.
A (Very) Brief History of Agile Software Development
In 2001, 17 exceedingly smart guys went on a skiing trip and ended up writing a Manifesto for Agile Software Development, 12 principles meant to supply an alternative to the “documentation driven, heavyweight software development processes” of the day. According to its founders, the agile movement is less a process model than it is about “building the types of organizational communities in which we would want to work.” The principles prioritize customer satisfaction, efficiency, and close-knit teams capable of delivering “working software frequently” at a sustainable and consistent pace.
Adoption of the agile method continues to grow, and some studies suggest it has eclipsed the older “waterfall” method. You may even be familiar with agile terms like “scrum,” “sprint,” and “kanban” without realizing their provenance. Agile tools turn up in popular culture too, such as in the HBO series “Silicon Valley.”