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The Agile & Lean UX News #118

Welcome to issue #118 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally.

We looked recently at Integrating UX Design into a Continuous-Delivery Environment with other folk from UXmatters. Drop us a line and tell us what you think.

Articles of Note


Practicing What You Preach: Experimenting and Iterating in UX Research

by Meghan Wenzel

“In UX research, we collaborate with product teams to iterate on product designs and implementations based on user feedback. So I decided to apply the investigative, iterative, and adaptive skills I have learned as a UX researcher to develop a brand-new, UX-research practice. To do this, I needed to understand this particular company’s core needs and culture and develop responsive, effective processes and practices. Experimentation, observation, and openness to change have been crucial to my success”

Introducing “Ions”, an Extension to the Atomic Design

by Chris Cid (@cjcid)

“The initial motivation to create “Ions”, was that people who are building Design Systems — including myself — were often missing details on the component’s structure. Details that are important for the overall structure, and also for the output consistency and quality. At the same time, I had experienced Design Systems where the components structure suffer from providing massive amounts of variations, becoming difficult to keep them organized, creating inconsistencies, and most importantly, becoming difficult to communicate and inefficient to be used by the Design System end users.”

Engaging Stakeholders with Opportunity Solution Trees: 3 Tactics to Try

by Teresa Torres (@ttorres)

“One of the key principles behind the opportunity solution tree is to externalize your thinking so that you can examine it. When we do this with our product teams, it helps us align around what we know and gives us a strong foundation for team decisions. When we do this with customers, it helps us confirm what we are hearing, builds trust, and gives the customer confidence that we are building toward their needs.”

How Microsoft’s Human Insights Library Creates a Living Body of Knowledge

by Matt Duignan (@FourthMode)

“In order to turn a research library into a truly living body of knowledge, you need strong participation from both researchers and product teams. On the research side, curation often presents the highest barrier to participation. Someone needs to synthesize insights in a way that optimizes for durability and reuse across time. But for researchers under pressure, it can be tempting to defer this work. A solution that’s proved successful for us is “real-time curation,” or integrating curation into the daily research practice, and providing tools to support this.”

Designers, Don’t Underestimate Failure at Work

by Boon Yew Chew (@boonych)

“Experiencing and observing failure at work is highly undervalued skill for a designer to have. It’s priceless to have gained hard-earned professional insight, and almost all expertise and maturity depends on how to manage the risk of failure of all shapes and sizes … However, if a designer cannot understand the underlying nature of failures, how does one assist in designing solutions for it — across multiple levels? This is why reframing one’s orientation towards failure can help tip the scales towards favourable outcomes.”

Worth Another Read

Agile Personas and Context Scenario

by Julie Booth (@uxsuccess)

“By walking through stories at the beginning of a release cycle when the team is choosing stories for development, providing a context view from the user perspective is critical for uncovering out some of the little things, like “how to get back to the beginning of a process” that will crop up during development. Scenarios make good test cases for lo and hi-fi testing. If we can get our training folks involved during the creation, it makes it easier for them to start their work earlier in the release cycle.”

Something for You To Watch


Clever Ideas Are Not Enough for Innovation

(Tendayi Viki, 42 mins)

“Innovation is hard. It takes more than a clever idea to make a business. Tendayi Viki works with entrepreneurs in startups and large corporates who are looking to innovate. Here he presents 8 business model questions to consider when attempting to innovate, followed by a Q&A with some great questions about innovating in a large corporate.”

The Future of Design Systems

(Hayley Hughes, 21 mins)

“Hayley Hughes is an Experience Designer at Airbnb, working on the Airbnb Design Language System (DLS), in this talk she explains how it’s not just product UI design that needs our attention, how design systems can help businesses become more efficient, [and that] resourceful environments … help designers create a better user experience.”

Upcoming Events

How to Iterate & Improve Your Product with Rapid User Testing, 25 July, Mountain View

Agile2019, 5-9 August, Washington

UX Australia, 27-30 August, Sydney

Continuous Discovery Habits, 12-13 September, New York

re:develop, 20 September, Bournemouth

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

EuroIA, 26-28 September, Riga

UXDX, 7-8 October, Dublin

Mind the Product, 17-18 October, London

DesignOps Summit, 23-25 October, New York

Want to say hello in person? We will be running our popular one day User Story Mapping workshop at Mind the Product London in October, and looking forward to listening to the always entertaining talks at re:develop in September.

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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