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The Agile & Lean UX News #121

Welcome to issue #121 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally.

You may enjoy Adrian ranting about things that Henry Ford didn’t say in Faster Horses. Or not. We won’t mind either way.

Articles of Note


Healing the Design-Agile Rift

by Jeff Sussna (@jeffsussna)

“The emptiness of doneness points the way to unifying design and Agile. It implies the need to learn before, during, and after building. In some cases, research saves us from building the wrong thing. In other cases, only building and deploying allow us to learn where we should go next. We thus need to do them all together.”

How to Run a Lean Product Testing Session in Your Community

by Jonas Fuchs

“Since our first sessions, we are overwhelmed by the positive feedback from stations and testers about the learnings and live experienced interaction of users with their products. Some younger companies that we had to convince to participate for the first time immediately saw the benefits and are now promoters and regular attendees. For us, this is a huge success and motivates us to continue organizing lean product testing sessions.”

Frontend Design, React, and a Bridge Over the Great Divide

by Brad Frost (@brad_frost)

“Frontend designers create the HTML, CSS, and presentational JavaScript code that powers web products’ user interfaces. I see frontend design as helpful mortar that bridges the gap between design and development. Of course “frontend designer” may or may not be the right title for it … Whatever the label is, these people specialize in crafting the code that powers the UIs of websites.”

How a Prototyping Tool Helped Us Test a Complex Form

by Salma Patel (@DrSalmaPatel)

“As a team we felt using a prototyping tool helped us to meet our user needs in several ways. It empowered us to holistically plan and edit the design and content in every step of the user journey, and having all the content, design and user research feedback in one place allowed us to compare the content and design, optimise it for consistency, and act quickly on our research findings.”

Building a Research Repo When You Don’t Know How

by Hugo Froes (@hugofroesUX)

“Try and implement a research repo as soon as possible. Every single project or team I work with now has to hear me discuss how important it is to plan a way of taking care of research in the early stages, when it’s still easy to change directions a few times and test various approaches. But the value is incredible.”

Worth Another Read


A Manifesto for Agile Strategy: Oxymoron or Innovation?

by Justin McMurray

“Deep research and immersion in complex problems is all good and well. However this approach is very much based on analytical thinking styles that tend to breed very deductive and often long-winded conclusions. Not only does this take a great deal of time, the rigidness and codification of the 'ultimate solution' presents an absolute with little room for argument … If you're in the business of creative and innovative thinking, I think it's time to move away from formulaic deductions and towards a more abductive, design thinking approach.”

Something for You To Watch


You Don’t Own the Voice of the Customer

(Tricia Wang, 31 mins)

“We shouldn’t try to be the voice of the customer on our own. Launching products is too important to do alone. We need the collaboration of our cross-functional counterparts. Humans are complex and change very quickly, and none of us should bear the burden of understanding them on our own. It is time for product and research to work better together.”

The Next Era of Technology

(Marie Louise Gørvild, 12 mins)

“In a world where the majority of the population is online, and the most valuable companies are tech companies, the role of tech in society has fundamentally changed. And so have our responsibilities — “tech is not in the garage any more – tech is in charge,” is how Marie puts it. And that’s why … it falls upon us, as the current generation of tech makers, to accept this responsibility and figure out what it means.”

How to Influence the Business

(David Bland, 21 mins)

“In this keynote from #mtpcon San Francisco, Precoil founder David J Bland offers some helpful tips on how product managers can influence the business and run more effective experiments … With strong evidence and appropriate feedback, product managers can help to solve product problems by validating the assumptions of desirability, viability, and feasibility.”

Camp Digital 2019 Redux

This June’s Camp Digital had some great sessions. We think you’ll find these of especial interest.

If you liked these, check out the other sessions.

Upcoming Events

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

Design Sprint & Lean UX, 3 November, Barcelona

Want to say hello in person? We’ll be attending the always entertaining re:develop in a couple of weeks, talking about OKRs for UX teams at UX Insider Bitesize at the end of the month, and running our popular one day User Story Mapping workshop at Mind the Product London in October (less than ten tickets left!)

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

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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