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The Agile & Lean UX News #97

Welcome to issue #97 of the Agile and Lean UX News. Curated by Quietstars and delivered to your inbox. Occasionally.

Adrian got involved in a twitter conversation about maturity models last month. Chris McDermott took it a lot further in Mapping Maturity: Create Context Specific Maturity Models with Wardley Maps Informed by Cynefin. It’s worth a few minutes of your time.

Articles of Note


How JustGiving Crowdfunding Went From an Idea to £100m in Five Years

by Jonathan Waddingham (@jon_bedford)

“We prioritised our roadmap based on whichever lever we thought was the most important to pull at a given time. For example, during that year, we doubled conversion by rebuilding the onboarding process and removing key points of friction. By estimating the effort and reward of each roadmap item, we could tell the team why some features were prioritised and, more importantly, why other features weren’t. This transparency meant everyone on the team was heard, they understood the priorities, and they got behind them.”

Priority Guides: A Content-First Alternative to Wireframes

by Heleen van Nues & Lennart Overkamp (@OverkampLennart)

“When creating priority guides, you automatically focus on solving the users’ problems, serving their needs, and supporting them to reach their goals. The interface is always filled with content that communicates a message or helps the user. By designing content-first, you’re always focused on serving the user.”

Why You Don’t Need a Representative Sample in Your User Research

by David Travis (@userfocus)

“A representative sample is impractical is because it doesn’t work with agile development … This belongs to a world where we can define our research problem up front and plan exactly how to arrive at a solution. Yet no modern software development team works like this because requirements can’t be nailed down in advance. Instead, development teams rely on iteration — and this is the same approach we should adopt as user researchers.”

Organization Hacking: Leveraging Other Disciplines to Get to Great UX

by Anne Hjortshøj

“The best way to improve the chances of great UX happening in an organization is to solve organizational issues. The best way to solve organizational issues is to step outside of UX. Designers don’t run the product roadmap, and we aren’t full-stack engineers, either. But if we’re going to have the influence we want, the first step is to apply some designer empathy to the people we work with. We can study other disciplines to figure out how best to communicate the value of what we’re good at in the language of those disciplines.”

The 9 Best A/B Testing Tools: How Using Them Can Improve Your User Experience

by Megan Headley

“Some people see A/B testing—with its devotion to quantitative metrics and the optimization of conversions — and UX research as frenemies. But in reality, A/B testing and UX research are quite complementary … Once you have a hypothesis, tactical A/B testing can help you to measure the impact of whatever changes you’ve made to a Web site. Together, A/B testing and UX research can give you a holistic view of potential solutions.”

Worth Another Read


Can User Experience Designers Be Lean?

by Sani El-Fishawy

“While UX professionals love to talk about testing very early, virtually all their experience as consultants is in testing very late. They are accustomed to working with large budgets in a silo using a fixed toolset against a largely finished product. They are accustomed to testing the details of a UI. You must be adept at testing the fundamental assumptions underpinning a business in a lean, low budget environment potentially using non standard techniques.”

Craft 2018 Redux

Last month’s Craft conference in Budapest has some really interesting sessions. We think you’ll find these of especial interest:

If you found these interesting do check out the other session videos.

Something for You To Watch


Owning Agile

(Jeff Patton, 36 mins)

“You need to rely mostly on a cross functional core product team that can help you make good decisions. You need to involve your team in all the product work not just the scope, not just the development. Agile development gives you lots of cool feedback cycles and you use those feedback cycles to not just talk about velocity but talk about results. Your job is to lead and together with your team take ownership”

Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones

(Simon Wardley, 22 mins)

“We start by examining the issue of situational awareness and how it applies to technology. Using examples from government and the commercial world, we then explore how you can map your environment, identify opportunities to exploit and learn patterns of change.”

Design for Non-Designers

(Tracy Osborn, 38 mins)

“This presentation will go over design for non-designers, skipping the university-level concepts and jumping right to shortcuts and easy-to-remember principles. Recommended for those who want to learn just enough design to be dangerous (or for designers who’d like to better teach their coworkers and colleagues); featuring quick hits, easy to understand and utilize principles that anyone can use to improve their design skills.”

Upcoming Events

UXPA International Conference, 26-28 June, Rio Mar

The Lead Developer, 27-28 June, London

Atomic UX Research, 10 July, Bristol

Agile on the Beach, 12-13 July, Falmouth

UX Bristol, 13 July, Bristol

Mind the Product San Francisco, 16-17 July, San Francisco

Design & Content, 25-27 July, Vancouver

Agile2018, 6-10 August, San Diego

Lean Innovation Masterclass, 14 August, Atlanta

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

Global Scrum Gathering, 8-10 October, London

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

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

DesignOps Summit, 7-9 November, New York

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.

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

If you want to meet us in person we’ll be at Lead Developer London all this week. We’ll also be presenting at UX Bristol on July 13, 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”.)

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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