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The Agile & Lean UX News #122

Welcome to issue #122 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally.

Long time no see! We took a holiday in October, as well as spending a fun few days at MTP London. We hope you didn’t miss us too much!

We’ve not written any blog posts recently, but Adrian contributed to a UXmatters discussion on Choosing Whether to Create a Responsive Web or Native App if you’re interested.

Articles of Note

 

Everyone Thinks They’re Managing by Outcomes. Here’s How to Actually Do It

by Teresa Torres (@ttorres)

“The best test for whether an opportunity is a solution and not an opportunity is to ask, “Is there more than one way to address this opportunity?” If the answer is no, it’s not an opportunity, it’s a solution in disguise. As you reframe solutions as opportunities, the leader can help the team reflect on the real need behind the feature request … It’s very hard to deliver a good solution if you don’t first fully understand the underlying need.”
 

Parking Lots in UX Meetings and Workshops

by Sarah Gibbons (@segibb)

“A parking lot is a place to capture comments, topics, or questions that are not related to the agenda. It keeps the focus on the immediate discussion while deferring (i.e., “parking”) other topics for later … When used correctly, parking lots can do more than just document out-of-scope ideas and questions. They are a tangible artifact that ultimately help build common ground, increase productivity within a workshop, and contribute towards shared accountability amongst a team.”
 

The Gradual Design System: How We Built Slack Kit

by Garrett Miller (@heyitsgarrett)

“A design system must adapt to the changing needs of the product. It must be opinionated, prescribing solutions that can scale for yet-unknown use cases. It has to document these solutions, and ensure that they’re useful for a variety of audiences. And most importantly, it must embrace the tension between infrastructure and invention, helping others to navigate that difficult middle.”
 

How You Can Answer Tough Questions With Your Product Story

by John Cutler (@johncutlefish)

“We’re often asked, “why are we even doing this task, where are we going?” Or we’re asked, “what are we doing to achieve this goal?” While we’re good at articulating both the high-level plan and the details of the immediate tasks, it can be challenging to walk the path between those two sides of the spectrum to give compelling answers to those questions. Great product managers can answer those two common questions by telling a complete story that connects the immediate work tasks to the broader company goals and vice versa.”
 

UX Research: Objectives, Assumptions, and Hypothesis

by Tarik (Rick) Dzekman (@rickdzekman)

“UX research should always be done for a clear purpose — otherwise you’re wasting both your time and the time of your participants. But many people who do UX research fail to properly articulate the purpose in their research objectives. A major issue is that the research objectives include assumptions that have not been properly defined … With qualitative research in mind let’s start by taking a look at a few examples of UX research hypothesis and how they may be problematic.”
 

Worth Another Read

 

Case Study: Lean UX at Work

by Jeff Gothelf (@jboogie)

“Proven over many iterations, the build-measure-learn cycle has insulated the team from the micromanagement of the past. If an estimation is wrong or an iteration falls short of its original number of story cards, no one gets fired. The trick is to keep management aware of your activities and intentions, justify those intentions with the learnings from each iteration and (most importantly) show progress … It’s this proactive approach that keeps the micromanagers at bay and the team free to solve problems as it sees fit.”
 

Something for You To Watch

 

Great User Research (for Non-Researchers)

(Steve Portigal, 27 mins)

“Researchers often have concerns about what will happen when “other people” go out and do work with users. But the demand for research far outweighs the supply of researchers, and everyone wins when more people are enabled to do research themselves. … Steve Portigal, Principal at Portigal Consulting, tells us how to quickly level up our research skills as product managers across the lifecycle of a research effort.”
 

Product, Society, and Ethics

(Kathy Pham, 27 mins)

“Kathy Pham reflects on the importance of asking societal and ethical questions in product organizations and asks how teams and companies can be more accountable in the future.

Kathy… asserts that product and ethics are increasingly important in a progressive society – the stakes are rising. She ascribes a lack of accountability for unethical or poor product decisions and says harmful products are still being released, at the cost of losing consumer trust (and unfortunately sometimes human lives).”
 

Using Research in Material Design

(Elizabeth Churchill, 33 mins)

“Elizabeth Churchill, Director of UX at Google tells us how research can work in product development to help us make useful and usable interactive experiences. Using a case study from Google Material Design, she shares how research was initially used in development, where the research practice is today, and where it’s going.”
 

UX Scotland Redux

UX Scotland took place in June this year with some great speakers. We think you will find the following sessions of especial interest:

You might like to check out the other sessions too.
 

Upcoming Events

Design Sprint & Lean UX, 3 November, Barcelona

UX and Agile: Is Dual Track Development the Best Way to Go?, 12 November, Bristol

Quietstars help teams improve with tactical workshops, team coaching, and personal coaching sessions. Think we can help your product development teams? Have a question? Not sure where to begin? Visit quietstars.com 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 crew@quietstars.com.

Until next time. Be excellent to each other.

Kathryn (too busy for twitter) & Adrian (@adrianh)

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