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The Agile & Lean UX News #128

Welcome to issue #128 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally.

We know it’s been at least fifteen years since the last issue in … (pause to check notes) … March. But all y’all know what it’s been like. We hope you’re all doing well — have some articles to distract you.

Articles of Note


Why Product Trios Should Interview Customers Together

by Teresa Torres (@ttorres)

“Too often good research gets ignored because the people who are responsible for making the decision weren’t involved in conducting the research. The easiest way around this is to have the product team conduct their own research. If they find a flaw in their own research, instead of ignoring the research, they are responsible for improving their research methods.”

What Proactive UX Research Looks Like

by Jared M. Spool (@jmspool)

“Proactive UX research anticipates the critical user experience decisions that a team faces. The team’s UX research effort uncovers sound findings and insights to ensure they make the best possible decisions for their users and customers. This is in contrast to how most teams conduct their UX research today. Most teams react to questions that arise during the design process. … These are important questions to answer … However, they focus the team on one particular aspect of design: making sure the team delivers a solution that works well.”

Building Your User Research Career: Trialling a “Workshop in a Box”

by Marium Ladha

“This workshop brought user researchers from all career stages, ages and backgrounds together in one room. It connected people across government who wouldn’t always have the opportunity for direct contact, facilitating meaningful and actionable conversations to help professionalise and develop the user research profession across government.”

Product Strategy — Actions

by Marty Cagan (@cagan)

“At this point we have focused on a very small number of critical problems, and we have done the hard work to identify the key insights that power our product strategy. Now we need to turn these insights into action, but there are two ways to do this. This is the point where there’s a fork in the road, and it’s where we can tell if a company is serious about empowered product teams, or is still addicted to feature teams.”

Cumulative and Combined: Analyzing Methods Use in a Human-Centered Design Mature Company

by Kaisa Savolainen & Sampsa Hyysalo

“The study shows that instead of conducting new user research or testing for each project, designers draw information from previous studies and other user insight sources in the company. HCD work is mostly accomplished through a combination of methods and other information sources on the users. The cumulation of user knowledge gained during the past projects and employment years is notably high among designers, product managers, projects, and in the company as a whole.”

Worth Another Watch


Getting Out of the (Agile) Building

Tomer Sharon (@tsharon), 25 mins

“Agile UX research has always meant implementing guerilla methods and quick-and-dirty usability techniques. This talk will begin with a brief review of principles and practices to ensure usability testing works well in an agile environment. We will then focus on three agile techniques you can implement tomorrow morning for getting out of the building to better understand people’s needs and wants: virtual visits, Field Fridays, and collaging. The talk will end with four tips for getting better buy-in for UX research in an agile world.”

Something for You To Watch


Research Skills Framework Launch

(Dave Hora & Tomomi Sasaki, 56 mins)

“We celebrate the launch of, as Dave and Tomomi walk us through the story of this community project, key insights from the data, and an introduction to the Framework.”

Building a Design System for Lloyds Banking

(Lily Dart, 29 mins)

“Building a successful design system is widely held as one of the biggest challenges in the industry right now. How much harder is it when you’re building a design system for a 250 year old, heavily regulated, multi-brand organisation? When Lily Dart joined Lloyds Banking Group nearly 2 years ago, she faced a challenging environment. … Find out how Lily and her team beat the organisational odds, saving the business an estimated 3.5mil in their first year of operation.”

The Product of You

(Melissa Perri, 49 mins)

“Melissa shows how product work can be divided into three skill sets: 1.Tactical 2.Operational [and] 3. Strategic. She also explains that seniority often dictates the dedication to each area. For instance, more tactical skills are required in a junior role, then as we develop we’re required to employ more operational skills, before finally moving away from tactical work entirely and to focus on strategic work.”

UX Research 2019 Redux

Last June’s UX Research conference had some super sessions. We think you’ll find these of especial interest.

If you liked these do check out the other sessions.

Upcoming Events

Choosing the Right Strategy for Growth in Feast or Famine, 12 May, Virtual Workshop

Agile Manchester 1 Day Conference, 15 May, Virtual Conference

The What and Why of Continuous Discovery, 19 May, Webinar

UXRConf Anywhere, 25-26 June, Virtual Conference

Agile Manchester, 14-15 September, Manchester

ACE! 16-18 September, Kraków

Mind The Product London, 1-2 October, London

UX Camp Brighton, 10 October, Brighton

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.

We know everybody’s coping with a lot at the moment. If you’re suddenly struggling with running a distributed product team, and think a quick chat might help, Adrian’s opened up a few free slots on his calendar for free half hour chats.

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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