UIEtips: Why Lean UX?

Jared Spool

June 5th, 2013

In this week’s UIEtips, Jeff Gothelf lays out his rationale for why Lean UX is something new and why it’s important now.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

When bringing our craft to software in the 1980s and 1990s, designers approached software in the same way we approached the earlier materials we worked with. In industrial design, print design, fashion design, and any field involving physical outputs, the manufacturing step is a critical constraint. When designing for physical materials, designers need to figure out what we’re making before we start production, because production is expensive. It’s expensive to set up a factory floor to produce hard goods or garments. It’s expensive to set up a printing press for a print run.

Working in software, designers faced new challenges. We had to figure out the grammar of this new medium, and as we did, we saw new specialties such as interaction design and information architecture emerge. But the process by which designers practiced remained largely unchanged. We still designed products in great detail in advance, because we still had to deal with a “manufacturing” process: our work had to be duplicated onto floppy disks and CDs, which were then distributed to market in exactly the same way that physical goods were distributed. The cost of getting it wrong remained high.

Read the article: Why Lean UX?

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