Book review: Lean UX – Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience

Lean UX - Apply Lean Principles to Improve User ExperienceWhile I’ve been enjoying my reading binge over the last two years, particularly the science fiction parts, I’ve made it a point to mix-in business, or educational, books every so often. The latest one to make it to the top of my reading list was Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Jeff Gothelf with Josh Seiden. I’m always interested in continuous improvement and Lean UX seemed like it could be very applicable, especially given how much time I spend on user experience and user interface design.

Overall, I liked the book and felt it was good. It contained quite a bit of practical advice that could be applied to any business, even if you’re not a software or technology based business. I also liked the fact that the authors didn’t artificially inflate the book to 400 pages just because a publisher or editor told them that’s how long a book is supposed to be. Gothelf and Seiden keep the book brief and to the point. Instead of repeating the same concepts over and over just to fill pages, they make a point, share an example or two, and move on. It’s a formula that I wish more business book authors would follow.

While I was able to pull some good suggestions from the book, it is geared more towards companies who have larger design and development teams. Gothelf and Seiden spend a lot of time talking about how to structure projects so the design and development teams work in a more collaborative manner rather than an adversarial manner.  Their point, which I agree with, is that the more that each team understands the challenges the other faces, the more they will work together and the better the end product will be. They reinforce their point with examples from their experience with teams they have worked on or companies they have consulted for.

My only complaint, if it is worth calling it one, is that there could have been a few more practical examples showing how the principles they outlined should be implemented. Of course, this goes a bit against one of the things I liked which was keeping things short and to the point. In other words, I’m not looking for a ton of book filler, but a few more well placed examples and suggested implementation plans could make the book a touch better.

Overall, I liked the book. It’s worth picking up, especially if you working on a team or in a company that is struggling with the interaction between design and development, with meeting schedules and project deliverables, or with creating top notch user experiences. It contains¬†quite a few suggestions and practical ideas that can be incorporated into your projects and/or business.