The latest Agile & Lean UX news - in your inbox

The Agile & Lean UX News #94

Welcome to issue #94 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally. We’re running a few public workshops this year — check out our workshops page for the details. We hope the sun is shining where you are, and that we have something of interest here for you to read.

Articles of Note


In Defense of Experiment Velocity

by Tristan Kromer (@TriKro)

“Experiment velocity is a vanity metric and, therefore, gamable. But how do we measure progress without it? Put simply, it’s how much stuff the team is doing while trying to learn something about their business model. It is not a measure of how much the team actually accomplishes or whether the business model is viable. I often use the metric with early-stage innovation teams to understand if they are ready to focus on other metrics.”

How to Draw a Research Ops Owl: Part 1 & Part 2

by Hana Nagel (@Miss_Hanie)

“A year and a half ago I joined my team as the first user researcher. There wasn’t a research operations framework or tools to support usability testing. So — I started to set up the research ops from scratch. I mapped out workflows and personas, and analyzed the most suitable user research tools for different use cases … I asked a lot of questions, I took a lot of notes, and I put them together here so that maybe it will help someone else. This is how I drew the research ops owl.”

In Defense of Design Thinking, Which Is Terrible

by Khoi Vinh (@khoi)

“So when I consider design thinking, it matters less to me whether it leads to a lot of bad design or not. What matters to me is whether it helps broaden the language of design, if it helps expand the community of design, if it helps build a world that values and understands design better than it does today. If design thinking is making us more relevant to the world at large, leading non-designers to embrace the way designers think, then the net effect strikes me as positive.”

How to Figure Out if Your Product Actually Solves Problems

by Katie Cerar (@katiecerar)

“Gut and vision have paved the way for many successful projects. But one of the best things our team did was to immediately identify that the concept underlying this project was our largest potential source of risk. We decided to focus on researching the problem statement before heading into any engineering work … Exploring our assumptions gave us a chance to recognize potential risk and build a plan to give us a higher chance of success.”

Why Every Organization Needs a Human-Centered Design Hallway: Lessons from the Akron-Summit County Public Library

Jennifer Stencel interviewed by Dana Mitroff Silvers (@dmitroff)

“If you are working under constraints but find yourself itching to try new things, the design process is perfect for making something happen. The process is an attractive approach because it executes a brilliant place-making concept: “lighter, quicker, and cheaper.” It’s lighter because you are testing an idea bit by bit. It’s quicker, because if the idea fails, it fails early, so it is easy to either pivot and try again or table it. It’s cheaper because you’re prototyping in steps and pieces.”

Worth Another Read


Case Study: UX Design and Agile: A Natural Fit?

Interview with Jean-Luc Agathos (@jagathos) & Julian Gosper

“The important thing is that you have lots of different people involved to help pull those user stories together. Clearly, the UX team needs to be part of that, but the development team should participate as well—along with the business analysts and anybody else who might have some insights regarding what the product requirements ought to be.”

Conference Redux

Last October, the push.conference took place with some great talks. We think you will find these of especial interest:

It’s worth taking a look at the other sessions too.

Something for You To Watch


The Elephant in the Room

(Beata Kovacs, 16 mins)

“As legacy products have existed in the real world, people get used to using them. There are established expectations, known functionality and a particular value to be realised. As such, when working with them, we often forget to run through our discovery processes. Then, when it comes to delivery, no matter how effective your team and working practices, if you haven’t worked out the right thing to be building you’re going to be in trouble.”

Upcoming Events

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

UX Bristol, 13 July, Bristol

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, 27-28 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, 17-18 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.

If you want to meet us in person we’ll be talking at ACE! 2018 in May, UX Scotland and Lead Developer London in June, and UX Bristol in July. Do come along and say hello.

We’re also running two one-day public workshops on user story mapping in June and October this year. See our workshops page for more details (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)

Forward to Friend

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Copyright © 2018 Quietstars, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp