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The Agile & Lean UX News #113

Welcome to issue #113 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally. We hope you have a great Easter break with some time in the sunshine and enjoy your chocolate eggs.

Articles of Note


Agile Won’t Get You to Done; Here Are 4 Ways to Fix That

by Josh Seiden (@jseiden)

“‘Done’ just means that you’ve created an output. Congrats, you shipped a feature! The bigger question is this: did that feature create value? You need to observe that feature in the wild to see if it created the outcome that you want for your customer and your business. If it didn’t, that feature is pure waste. It’s overhead. It needs to be refactored until it delivers value, or you figure out what does deliver value. In other words: ‘done’ gets you an output. ‘Validated’ gets you an outcome.”

New Feature Validation Framework

by Chris Compston (@ndxcc)

“Every idea needs to be validated, just like all assumptions, and this framework will help with both containing, exploring and validating those opinions … Primarily, this will ensure that any potential innovative thought is grounded in solid investigation. Secondly, it helps those people in the business with understanding the discovery and design process that technology teams undertake. Lastly, it should prove to the business that through customer validation comes more potential for business success.”

Making User Research Work in Agile Sprints

by Christina Li (@chrissy0118)

“If you don’t commit to a day to research in each sprint then research won’t happen. The risk is you lose the golden opportunity to speak to your users for feedback before design is finalised or development commences! I’ve seen this happened to product teams before. When you’re doing sprint planning and discussing what to put through in each sprint backlog there will always be other priorities from the development team or the business to push through. User research will then be de-prioritised.”

Scientists Rise up Against Statistical Significance

by Valentin Amrhein (@vamrhein), Sander Greenland (@Lester_Domes) & Blake McShane

“Whatever the statistics show, it is fine to suggest reasons for your results, but discuss a range of potential explanations, not just favoured ones. Inferences should be scientific, and that goes far beyond the merely statistical. Factors such as background evidence, study design, data quality and understanding of underlying mechanisms are often more important than statistical measures such as P values or intervals.”

Design Thinking for Startups

by Margo Johnson

“Design thinking is a framework, both conceptual and tactical, that supports product innovation. At the core is a belief that people hold invaluable information about their experiences and needs, so it follows that the highest-value solutions emerge from end-user perspectives. The framework is typically broken down into five key stages, starting with inductive ethnographic data collection and qualitative synthesis during earlier stages (Empathize, Define, Ideate) and moving into more deductive, targeted questioning during later stages (Prototype, Test). The process is flexible and steps are repeated as learning progresses.”

Worth Another Read


“Citizen Usability Testers” Debate at the UPA Conference

by Martin Belam

“The reason I like to include as many members of the project team as possible in lo-fi testing sessions is not because they make the sessions themselves more valuable, but because they present one of the rare opportunities to directly watch and talk with someone using a product you have specified, designed or coded. The thought of software developers running user sessions prompted the question “so should we write their code?”. The answer ought to be, yes, if you are so inclined, and provided you observe the same sort of continuum.”

Interaction 19 Redux

Lots of interesting sessions from Interaction 19 earlier this year. We think you’ll find these of especial interest.

Do check out the other sessions if you want more.

Something for You To Watch


Flow and Value Creation (in Product Development)

(John Cutler, 7 mins)

“We think more upfront planning, stricter definitions of done, better estimates, more resources, and clear team commitments will help but actually the less intuitive stuff helps like less work in progress, smaller batches, fewer handoffs, cross-functional teams, more flexibility in terms of scope, fixing underlying issues in packing flow, and cross training people.”

Upcoming Events

Industry: The Product Conference, 15-17 April, Dublin

The Evolution of Design Sprints by Google, 17 April, San Francisco

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

How to Influence Without Authority, 25 April, Mountain View

User Research: Best Practices, Pitfalls and Common Challenges, 25 April, New York

Agile-Lean Ireland, 25-26 April, Dublin

Agile Manchester, 8-10 May, Manchester

ProductTank: Product Is Hard, 15 May, NYC

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

RebelCon, 19-20 June, Cork

UXPA International Conference, 25-27 June, Scottsdale

User Research London, 27-28 June, London

Agile on the Beach, 11-12 July, Falmouth

UX Bristol, 12 July, Bristol

Mind the Product San Francisco, 15-16 July, San Francisco

Design & Content, 17-19 July, Vancouver

Agile2019, 5-9 August, Washington

UX Australia, 27-30 August, Sydney

Industry: The Product Conference, 23-25 September, Cleveland

EuroIA, 26-28 September, Riga

Mind the Product, 17-18 October, London

DesignOps Summit, 23-25 October, New York

Where you can find us over the next few months:

If you’d like us to run one of our workshops or talks 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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