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The Agile & Lean UX News #111

Welcome to issue #111 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally.

Last month, we answered questions and contributed to the discussion on Conducting International User Research. Do you have any views on what we said? We’d welcome any comments.

Articles of Note


Principles of Experiment Flow

by David Bland (@davidjbland)

“Running one experiment is hard enough, but making it a repeatable process is what will help you leap frog competitors in the long run. By following these three simple principles, I’m certain they will help you and your teams get your experiments flowing in no time.”

‘But You Tested with Only 5 Users!’: Responding to Skepticism About Findings From Small Studies

by Kathryn Whitenton (@kwhitenton)

“Stakeholders who have doubts about whether they should trust findings from usability tests often assert that test participants are not representative or that there aren’t enough test participants to take the results seriously. When you encounter these objections, here are some techniques you can use to help teams understand why they should take qualitative usability testing seriously.”

Routines to Align Squads

by Javier Escribano (@fesja)

“At Ontruck, we are always experimenting to improve the way we work. We know it’s vital to have excellent communication between roles and squads. The success of one needs to trigger more successes from others. Our objective is to have independent squads who can execute and meet their OKRs, while at the same time enabling others to go further … I’m focusing on Product routines we use to align between squads.”

How to Work Effectively with Engineers

by Jenny Wen (@jenny_wen)

“Even early on, don’t forget to involve the people that’ll actually be building the thing you’re designing. Engineers provide a unique perspective to design. What’s more, including them in the process will make them better product and design thinkers. … Bring engineers into conversations and share early on, so everyone has context on the goals of the project. If the project isn’t staffed with engineers yet, work with an engineering manager to get at least one on it. Even if they won’t be working on it full-time for a while, you can start looping them in.”

The Myth That Design Systems Solve Easy Problems

by Amy Hupe (@Amy_Hupe)

“Design systems exist to stop teams doubling up their efforts fixing common, recurring problems, like how to write an error message or create a call to action on a page. … But ask almost anyone who has worked on or contributed to a design system and they’ll tell you there’s nothing easy about it. Making something that meets the needs of hundreds, maybe thousands of users, accommodates organisational requirements and limitations, and is versatile enough to be reused, is really very hard indeed.”

Worth Another Read


The UX of User Stories

by Anders Ramsey (@andersramsay)

“So why is it so important that the users write the stories? One main reason is that they will then phrase the card in their own domain-specific language, and in a way that is likely to most effectively trigger the appropriate memories when you ask them about the card down the road. And on that note, if the cards are written by hand, their handwriting can be used for card traceability, i.e. you’ll be able to know who wrote the card just by looking at it. And if you are gathering info from many users, well, then they will be able to produce far more cards as a group than you could on your own.”

DesignOps Summit Redux

The DesignOps Summit took place last year in November and had some great sessions. For attendees’ views check out what Dylan Ortega and qonita took away from the conference.

We think you will find these talks of particular interest.

The other sessions are worth a look too.

Upcoming Events

Lean Entrepreneurship - Stories of Change From Large Organisations, 19 March, London

Agile in the City London, 3-5 April, London (10% off with code “Adrian”)

Balanced Team London, 6 April, London

ProductCamp London, 13 April, London

Intro to Professional Scrum with User Experience, 16 April, Webinar

Agile-Lean Ireland, 25-26 April, Dublin

Agile Manchester, 8-10 May, Manchester

User Experience Lisbon, 21-24 May, LIsbon

MTP Engage, 22-24 May, Hamburg

ACE!, 23-24 May, Kraków

Enterprise UX, 3-5 June, San Francisco

The Lead Developer, 11-12 June, London

UX Scotland, 12-14 June, Edinburgh

Agile on the Beach, 11-12 July, Falmouth

Mind The Product, 17-18 October, London

Where you can find us over the next few months:

If you’d like us to run a workshop or talk at your company get in touch.

Quietstars help teams improve with tactical workshops, team coaching and personal coaching. Think we can help your product development teams? Have a question? Not sure where to begin? Visit to find out.

Have something that you think should be in this newsletter? Want to tell us what sucked or rocked about this issue? Drop us a line at

Until next time. Be excellent to each other.

Kathryn (too busy for twitter) & Adrian (@adrianh)

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