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The Agile & Lean UX News #119

Welcome to issue #119 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally.

We hope you are enjoying your summer and that we have something to interest and inform you this week.

Articles of Note


Making Personas Truly Valuable by Making Them Scenario-Based

by Jared Spool (@jmspool)

“When personas are valuable, they guide the team’s critical design decisions. These personas serve as a catalyst for having important design discussions. Because they’re based on scenarios, they ensure the team catches critical user paths through the design. Scenario-based personas offer more depth for user stories, so our developers build out better quality functionality.”

Product Discovery or Product Delivery: How Do You Decide?

by Philipp Krehl

“The degree of uncertainty defines whether you can start directly with building a product (execution) that creates customer and business value, or whether you need to take a step back first to create more clarity through different types of activities (discovery). Being able to recognize the circumstances in which you find yourself – low or high uncertainty – makes a significant difference in terms of how successful and efficient you can be in achieving your goals.”

The Eight Pillars of User Research

by Emma Boulton (@emmaboulton)

“By understanding these pillars, we can start to think about how to operationalise research in our organisations … The eight pillars act as the scaffolding between researchers and ReOps as we work on our common goals. The ResearchOps Community is continuing to work through the data we have on these pillars with each of our global projects, and no doubt our thinking will evolve over time.”

Defining Design Generalists

by Molly Nix

“Being a design generalist has made me a more confident and adaptable designer—one who’s able to enter into a myriad of spaces and effectively solve problems. And while many of my peers and colleagues can relate, I’ve realized that there isn’t a strong narrative on this underrated superpower. For me, design generalism boils down to six defining skills.”

Stronger Findings the ‘Mad Libs’ Way

by Beth Lingard (@beth_lingard)

“Findings are the foundation of your report and the driving force behind your recommendations. They’re what will spur your stakeholders or clients to action. So it’s important that your findings have all the key elements your team needs in order to take the next steps. To do that — and to craft my study decks quickly yet thoroughly, I developed a findings formula during my consulting days. I still rely on it to this day.”

Worth Another Read


From Sketchboards to Blueprints

by Jason Furnell

“Design Sketchboards … I take the prototype designs and turn them into a single, visual design asset that helps facilitate detailed conversations about the UI designs and page flows. You could argue that’s what the prototype is for, but in my experience prototypes are often too complex and have too many alternative navigation paths to be very effective as an asset for sharing design vision.”

Something for You To Watch


Assumptions: How to Track Them in the UX Design Process

(Therese Fessenden, 4 mins)

“The best user experiences are backed by research, but sometimes we move more quickly than our research does. How can we best use and track assumptions as we go through design iterations?”

How to Fall Out of Love With Your Own Idea

(Mirkka Lansisalo, 25 mins)

“How can you avoid being blinkered about rejection? It’s all about learning to fall out of love with your idea, and instead focusing on the problem worth solving. It means repeating the continuous cycle of build-measure-learn. But it is not only being lean, agile, or customer centric — because to thrive, companies need a new culture that empowers people to collaborate and move away from silos, experiment, take responsibility for results, and co-create with customers.”

Outcomes Over Output

(Josh Seiden, 58 mins)

“In this webinar author Josh Seiden shows how to use outcomes — measurable changes in customer behavior — as the measure of success for your product development work rather than just focusing on generating output.”

UX London Redux

There was a surfeit of excellent sessions at this year’s UX London. We think you’ll find these of particular interest.

If these whet your appetite do check out the other sessions.

Upcoming Events

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’ll be attending the always entertaining re:develop in September, and running our popular one day User Story Mapping workshop at Mind the Product London in October.

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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