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The Agile & Lean UX News #93

Welcome to issue #93 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally.

We wrote a couple of articles since we last talked that you might find interesting:

Let us know what you think! But enough about us — let’s move on to something more interesting.

Articles of Note


'Agile Qualitative Research' is Not an Oxymoron!

Carrie Yury (@CarrieYury) interviewed by Carrie Neill

“What agile is, is an inherently collaborative approach, and a tool that can make a huge impact on team projects. It’s very well suited to projects where teams are testing hypotheses, learning, coming up with different solutions. Because in those cases there are a lot of things that agile qual research will give you that a more traditional, siloed research approach does not give you. When you’re trying to evolve, or iterate an experience, agile is inherently a great approach, because it’s a way to quickly get answers to questions about an experience or a problem and using those answers to push the experience forward.”

How Much Time Should You Spend in Product Discovery?

by Teresa Torres (@ttorres)

“I get asked all the time, “How much time should we spend in discovery?” I have two problems with this question. First, it assumes you do discovery first and then delivery second, which is not true. You should be discovering and delivering all the time. Second, it implies that there is an answer that is true in all situations. There isn’t. You need to do enough discovery to mitigate unacceptable risk. That’s it. That sounds simple. It’s not. So let’s break it down.”

The Different Lenses of Design Operations

by Dave Malouf (@daveixd)

“What interests me right now is how I’ve been introduced to a myriad of different lens that DesignOps leaders look through when standing up their DesignOps organization. I have recognized, so far, 3 types of DesignOps organizations. To be clear, these are more historical lenses. That is to say, the people standing up these practices usually have a lens as their starting point, but as their practice grows, so does their inclusion of other parts of the total DesignOps puzzle.”

The Key to Creating Cost-Effective Experiments at Scale

by Matthew Salganik (@msalganik)

“Digital experiments can have dramatically different cost structures than analog experiments. If you want to run really large experiments, you should try to decrease your variable cost as much as possible and ideally all the way to zero. You can do this by automating the mechanics of your experiment (e.g., replacing human time with computer time) and designing experiments that people want to be in. Researchers who can design experiments with these features will be able to run new kinds of experiments that were not possible in the past.”

Rapid UX Research at Google

by Heidi Sales

“At its core, rapid research is about developing and iterating on the templates and processes you use to arrive at a streamlined and efficient research approach. It’s about identifying what might be slowing you down and finding methods and tools to mitigate that. Once you’re satisfied with the tools and methods you have in place, you can start to increase the scope of your research and look at answering bigger questions in less time.”

Worth Another Read


Bringing User Centered Design to the Agile Environment

by Anthony Colfelt (@colfelt)

“Remember, Agile does not mandate how to define concepts or overall design direction, but it is a great way to execute on solid design research and well laid plans. UCD needs to be flexible enough to respond to the reality on the ground when the implementation team encounters issues that mandate a different design solution. Document only what is needed to get the message across and co-locate if at all possible, because cross-disciplinary collaboration and face to face communication are vital.”

Intersection 17 Redux

There were a stack of interesting sessions at last September’s Intersection conference. We think you’ll find these especially interesting:

Check out the YouTube playlist for the other sessions.

Something for You To Watch


Mapping Experiences

(Jim Kalbach, 14 mins)

“Visualizing value creation can be used to shift perspectives and gain team alignment. Diagrams are simply a catalyst for conversation. They are something that everyone can look at and collaborate on to really figure out what it is they are building and to get a common picture of the company’s goal. That conversation can then lead to innovation and creativity. It can lead to the co-creation of not only products, but strategy as well.”

Upcoming Events

Industry: The Product Conference, 23-24 April, Dublin (€100 off with code AgileLeanUXVIP)

Facilitating Design Decisions with Your Team, 24 April, New York

Sense & Respond, 25 April, Dublin

Craft, 8-11 May, Budapest

Big Apple Scrum Day, 11 May, New York

Smart Scrum Product Ownership, 15-16 May, Berlin

ACE!, 17-18 May, Kraków

Business of Software Europe, 21-22 May, London

UX Lisbon, 22-25 May, Lisbon

UX London, 23-25 May, London

Advanced Lean Startup, 31 May - 1 June, Milan

Product Camp Poland, 7-9 June, Gdynia

UX Scotland, 13-15 June, Edinburgh (10% off with code Adrian)

Enterprise UX, 13-15 June, San Francisco

Agile Australia, 18-19 June, Melbourne

User Research London, 21-22 June, London

UXPA International Conference, 26-28 June, Rio Mar

The Lead Developer, 27-28 June, London

Mind the Product San Francisco, 16-17 July, San Francisco

Design and Content, 25-27 July, Vancouver

Agile2018, 6-10 August, San Diego

UX Week, 21-24 August, San Francisco

UX Australia, 28-31 August, Melbourne

Refresh 2018, 7 September, Tallinn

Product Innovation Summit, 25-26 September, Boston

EuroIA, 27-29 September, Dublin

Industry, 1-3 October, Ohio

Business of Software USA, 1-3 October, Boston

MWUX, 11-13 October, Chicago

World Usability Congress, 16-18 October, Graz

Mind the Product, 18-19 October, London

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’ll be talking at ACE! 2018 in May, plus UX Scotland and Lead Developer London in June. Do come along and say hello.

We’re also running two one-day public workshops on user story mapping at:

Does your organisation have trouble keeping track of the big picture during product development? Have you ever ended up releasing a product that doesn’t actually solve the customer’s problem? Story mapping can help.

(If you want to run this workshop inside your company drop us a line at

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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