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The Agile & Lean UX News #102

Welcome to issue #102 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally. We have the usual mix of great articles and videos for you to enjoy. Read on!

Articles of Note


Case Study: Collaborative Engineering with Lean UX

by Rachel Wilkins Patel (@clevelandrachel)

“The benefits of Lean UX are not limited to next-generation product teams. The drive to reduce both technical and design debt, transfer knowledge across teams, improve performance, and ship user-centered products has become a shared value across our organization. By broadening the application of Lean principles to disciplines that in the past might have been seen as bottlenecks — such as UX design — our team-wide collaborative approach has helped drive Lean outcomes.”

How-To: Graffiti Wall Research Method

by Sarah McGuyer (@sara_mc)

“Graffiti walls are a great method to try if you have existing events that bring your audience together. For example, I once used this method at homecoming events for a university who wanted to gather research about alumni perspectives. It’s also helpful in places that might be difficult to observe or directly interact with people, like in health care settings … It can also be helpful when you want to stretch your research budget. Because it’s so simple and cost effective, you can reach additional people without breaking the bank.”

Measuring User Adoption

by Tomer Sharon (@tsharon)

“You only have one chance to make a great first impression. Adoption metrics provide you with solid data and wisdom about that first impression from the perspective of your audience. Adoption metrics are behavioral, unbiased, and actionable. They are extremely helpful for large-scale data analysis and uncover an important aspect of the user experience.”

How to Make Time for Customer Interviews and Validation

by Rich Mironov (@RichMironov)

“It’s hard to make time for critical strategic work, including live user/customer interviews. Today’s dumpster fires distract us from investments in tomorrow. But building the wrong thing is 100% waste, and picking product direction without objective research invites us to build the wrong things.”

How to Run 13 Design Sprints at Once: Inside Maker Week at The New York Times

by Jake Knapp (@jakek)

“Decide in advance whether the goal is launching or practicing. And be honest, because it’s very hard to keep hackathon projects alive, and very frustrating to be told something has a chance to launch only to watch it go nowhere. If you decide to make it practice, do what Laura did and be very clear at the beginning, and remind people over and over: This is practice. The point is to flex our experimentation muscles.”

Worth Another Read


Deconstructing 'Done': Achieving Results Over Writing Reports

by Desirée Sy (@DesireeSy)

“Writing reports is a part of what we do as designers, but it’s not an end to itself — just as an architect’s job isn’t complete when the blueprints are finalized. The exciting part is realizing that just as an architect’s job doesn’t start when the blueprints are being drafted, there is far more to an interaction designer’s job than writing specifications. What can we do as designers to achieve results that are better—faster, more vivid, more malleable, more effective — than pounding out a 279-page specification?”

Conference Redux

UX Scotland had its usual mix of great speakers and interesting sessions this year. We think you may find these of especial interest:

We’d recommend you take a look at the other sessions too.

Something for You To Watch


Democratising Online Controlled Experiments at

(Lukas Vermeer, 25 mins)

“It’s a little bit ironic that this idea of no higher value opinions and no centralised decision making is actually made possible by having this centralised experimentation system. By centralising the data flows, by centralising where these decisions are gathered, it is possible to then empower people to make those decisions independently because everyone can see what data was gathered. Everyone trusts that that data is correct and everyone can see what decisions were made and so it’s actually the centralisation of all of this information that helps us decentralise the decision making itself.”

First, Do No Harm

(Mariah Hay, 25 mins)

“It might be obvious as to why ethics are important in the medical industry and engineering … the whole life / death thing is kind of a no brainer … but what about when the consequences aren’t so black and white? What happens when we problem finders and problem solvers start to create problems for the consumers of our solutions? What are our ethical responsibilities?”

When Innovation Programs Fail

(Brad Cooper, 23 mins)

“When companies don’t take the time to define what they mean by innovation they end up running programs that don’t have a clear direction or sense of what they are trying to achieve … The problem in managing innovation arises because companies don’t understand the differences in levels of uncertainty at different time horizons of the product lifecycle. To innovate effectively, you have to be able to differentiate between the known and unknown problems you are trying to solve, and adjust your operations accordingly.”

Upcoming Events

Responsive Conference 2018, 24-25 September, New York

Lean Startup Basics - How To Compile a Lean Canvas, 25 September, London

Leading Innovation & the Silence Experiment, 27 September, New York

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

Global Scrum Gathering, 8-10 October, London

The Advanced Lean Startup Workshop, 11-12 October, Paris

MWUX, 11-13 October, Chicago

Agilia Budapest, 15-17 October, Budapest

World Usability Congress, 17-18 October, Graz

Leading the Product, 18 October, Melbourne

Mind the Product, 18-19 October, London

Leading the Product, 23 October, Sydney

How to Achieve Product-Market Fit, 24 October, San Francisco

Agile in the City: Bristol, 7-9 November, Bristol (10% off with code Adrian)

DesignOps Summit, 7-9 November, New York

If you want to meet us in person we’ll be presenting at the Scrum Gathering London in October, and Agile in the City: Bristol in November. Do come along and say hello (you can get 10% of Agile in the City: Bristol tickets with the code “Adrian”.)

We’re running one more public workshop on user story mapping in October as part of Mind the Product London. See our workshops page for more details (if you want to run this workshop inside your company drop us a line at

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 can’t get the support & advice you need within your org our team coaching and our 1-on-1 remote personal coaching sessions can help.

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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