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The Agile & Lean UX News #104

Welcome to issue #104 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally. We hope we’ve got something to pique your interest in this issue.

Articles of Note


Value Engineering for Outcome-Based Bets

by Barry O'Reilly (@barryoreilly)

“Value Engineering is an evidence-based approach to innovation, product strategy and development that favors learning through fast and frequent experiments, and using the information you gather to inform investment decisions … But above all, the currency of Value Engineering is learning. It is a mindset shift at all levels that favors discovering the harsh realities over sticking to a plan that may be out of date from the moment you think it’s complete.”


edited by Janet M Six

“In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our experts discuss the newest discipline within User Experience: DesignOps, which covers the operational aspects of design. Most DesignOps practices have been standard operational practices within software companies for many years—they just weren’t called DesignOps until a couple of years ago, and they did not yet constitute an integrated set of practices”

What I Learnt From Trialling a ‘Speed Dating’ Approach to User Testing

by Jane Hall

“Because we would have access to all the training providers (our end users) over a matter of a few days, my idea was to run parallel sessions of different research sessions at each event and have all the users take part in each session … The ‘speed dating’ approach meant that everyone at the roadshows could take part in each research activity. Also, doing it this way would provide me with a rich amount of data that I could then feed back to the wider team to help us to prepare for subsequent releases of our service.”

A Decision Tree for Designers

by Cap Watkins (@cap) ‏

“One important thing about the Decision Tree is that it really pushes designers to get creative with their use of your design system. It’s surprising what people can do when forced to adhere to constraints, and I personally believe even just the first two questions generated not only better design but very interesting applications of styles we already had available. I was constantly surprised by the ways people found to bend the guide without breaking it. And when we did break it, it was in thoughtful, purposeful ways.”

Moderating UX Research with Zoom

by David Hamill (@dav_hamill)

“More years ago than I care to admit, UX research (it wasn’t called that then) tended to take place in usability testing labs with heaps of expensive audiovisual equipment and sound desks … These days you don’t need labs, most of what you need is available in Zoom, the video-conferencing software which can be used free-of-charge. In this post I’m going to talk you through the various setups I use with Zoom to run and record my in-person and remote user research sessions on both desktop and mobile.”

Worth Another Read


Notes from the Agile UX Retreat at Cooper

by Anders Ramsey (@andersramsay) ‏

“A consistent theme throughout the event was that of the Us/Them challenge, of how the separation of work among team members is a fundamentally negative force working against the project’s chances of success, and goes to the core of why traditional waterfall methods so commonly fail … Agile, in contrast, seeks to minimize the Them and maximize the Us, not just through focusing on distributed knowledge, but also on distributed understanding and empathy for other team members.”

Clarity 2017 Redux

We think you’ll find these videos from last year’s Clarity Conference worth a watch:

Check out other session videos for more.

Upcoming Events

Lean Thinking: Applying Lean Now, 6 November, London

Agile in the City: Bristol, 7-9 November, Bristol (10% off with code Adrian)

DesignOps Summit, 7-9 November, New York

Leveraging Lean UX To Lead Successful Agile Design Teams, 12 November, Boston

Measuring Actionable Metrics, 5 December, New York

Adrian will be presenting at Agile in the City: Bristol in November. Do come along and say hello (you can get 10% of Agile in the City: Bristol tickets with the code “Adrian”.)

If you can’t get the support & advice you need within your org our team coaching and our 1-on-1 remote personal coaching sessions can help.

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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