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Failing Fast & Learning Along the Way - Big Design 2013
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Failing Fast & Learning Along the Way - Big Design 2013


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Mantras of startups: "fail fast", "move fast and break things", "keep shipping" - these are all great slogans, but unknown to many - these are really all about learning. It's about getting things in …

Mantras of startups: "fail fast", "move fast and break things", "keep shipping" - these are all great slogans, but unknown to many - these are really all about learning. It's about getting things in front of your customers early, and often. Watching - and learning. Finding what ideas were not quite as brilliant as you once thought - and finding this out as fast and cheap as possible.

How are modern product teams making this happen? Where does User Experience and customer research fit in this model? Taking from Agile, Lean, and User Centered Design - this talk will go over the build-measure-learn process, and how you can start to shape your organization to move fast, without leaving your customers behind.

This talk was given at Big Design 2013 #bigd13

Published in: Design, Technology, Business

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  • 1. FAILing FAST & learning along the way @jeremyjohnson
  • 2. @jeremyjohnson #bigd13 #leanux
  • 3.
  • 4. marketing / product / Development
  • 5.
  • 6. un peu UX 101
  • 7. UX 101 we make things for
  • 8. UX 101 we make things for
  • 9. UX 101 We work in ecosystems
  • 10. UX 101 we think visually
  • 11. UX 101 We learn through observation
  • 12. UX 101 we’re curious
  • 13. UX 101
  • 14. User-centered design 1970s
  • 15. User-centered design can be characterized as a multi-stage problem solving process that not only requires designers to analyze and foresee how users are likely to use a product, but also to test the validity of their assumptions with regard to user behavior in real world tests with actual users. Such testing is necessary as it is often very difficult for the designers of a product to understand intuitively what a first-time user of their design experiences, and what each user's learning curve may look like.
  • 16. Interviews Usability testing contextual inquiries Surveys Focus groups
  • 17. LEARNING with customers
  • 18. “Agile methods like Scrum and XP both rely on a close and collaborative relationship and continual interaction with the customer – the people who are paying for the software and who are going to use the system.” 2001
  • 19. LEARNING with customers
  • 20. How many people are able to learn by proxy (persona, market research, etc...)?
  • 21. How many people are able to learn by watching your customer (analytics, pathing, heatmaps, etc...) ?
  • 22. How many people are able to get in the same room with your (end) customer?
  • 23. How many people are able to visit their customers in their natural habitat?
  • 24. LEARNING with customers
  • 25. LEARNING with customers
  • 26. what’s the least amount of time and money you can spend to learn something.
  • 27. “I dropped over $40k when I could have spent $100”
  • 28. Moving to lean...
  • 29. startup Where the core component...
  • 30. ...of Lean Startup methodology is the build-measure-learn feedback loop.
  • 31. build-measure-learn
  • 32. Spec-measure-learn
  • 33. How long does it take to build?
  • 34. hackDAY
  • 35. On May 22 this year 300 hackers converged in New York at TechCrunch Disrupt for a day and half long hack day before the conference itself started. At least one of the projects created at the hack day has now become an actual business, and has raised an angel round of funding from top tier investors.
  • 36.
  • 37. LEARNING with customers while shipping
  • 38. mvp (keep it simple) value customer feedback experiment via iterative prototyping shipping / launching often
  • 39. we like simple mvp (keep it simple) experiment via iterative prototyping UX value customer feedback User centered Design - that’s us! we build prototypes shipping / launching often We’re want to launch!
  • 40. User-centered design (Lean UX) for designers Agile for Developers Lean for Product owners/teams
  • 41. But We’re not a startup...
  • 42.
  • 43.
  • 44. core product team product owner developers ux designer
  • 45. product owner “mini-ceo”
  • 46. product owner “mini-ceo” shareholders
  • 47. get more signups increase conversion increase usage reduce bounce
  • 48. Evaluate Prototype (Build) (Learn) Test Keep/Kill (Measure)
  • 49.
  • 50. Large Organizations don’t have to be slow!
  • 51. build-measure-learn
  • 52. Break two habits
  • 53. good at designing things
  • 54. good at designing things = good at determining what are the right things to build
  • 55. sometimes... We should... Make sure the customer can use the feature Make sure the feature has value for the customer and design it accordingly and prioritize it accordingly
  • 56. Human needs
  • 57.
  • 58.
  • 59.
  • 60. Can we learn faster?
  • 61. Some amount of thinking around a project
  • 62. a. B. Build MVP Launch Learn Iterate (repeat) Find customers perform research synthesize discoveries Build out prototype Test with customer
  • 63.
  • 64. Systrom, Intuit founder Scott Cook, and Lean Startup author Eric Ries talked about the changes that have swept through product development in both big and small organizations. Many companies have moved from what's called "waterfall development" -- a method that relies on large engineering executing a carefully mapped-out plan -- to "lean" development, where creators move quickly to push out products and revise them on the fly. "We thought about what we could do to iterate more quickly," Systrom said of Burbn's pivot. "People loved posting pictures on Burbn" -- so that's where they took the venture, jettisoning other planned features. Burbn now lives on only as an abandoned Twitter feed.
  • 65. LEARNING with customers while shipping
  • 66.
  • 67.
  • 68.
  • 69. a. B. Build MVP Launch Learn Iterate (repeat) Find customers perform research synthesize discoveries Build out prototype Test with customer
  • 70. IN A G A mvp (keep it simple) experiment via iterative prototyping UX value customer feedback shipping / launching often
  • 71. Moving quickly
  • 72.
  • 73.
  • 74.
  • 75.
  • 76.
  • 77. BALANCE
  • 78. embracing and Agile
  • 79. Through discovery With product owner Find what has value Via Prototyping Quickly test with customers Quickly launch with development
  • 80. LEARNING with customers
  • 81. “Rather than focus on artifacts, we focus on prototypes and validating those prototypes in Discovery, with the added benefit that the prototype serves as the spec for Delivery.”
  • 82. Documentation = bad rough, quick, iterative, prototype = good
  • 83. Getting closer, quicker to the actual experience
  • 84.
  • 85.
  • 86. (not new) 1. Drive: UX practitioners are part of the customer or product owner team 2. Research, model, and design up front - but only just enough 3. Chunk your design work 4. Use parallel track development to work ahead, and follow behind 5. Buy design time with complex engineering stories 6.Cultivate a user validation group for use for continuous user validation 7. Schedule continuous user research in a separate track from development 8. Leverage user time for multiple activities 9.Use RITE to iterate UI before development 10.Prototype in low fidelity 11.Treat prototype as specification 12.Become a design facilitator - 2008
  • 87. a quick word about agile
  • 88.
  • 89. agile / lean UX everyone is involved!
  • 90. agile, better than waterfall
  • 91. agile, shows value faster
  • 92. agile, can work well with UX
  • 93. agile, makes better software
  • 94. valuable Usable Enjoyable
  • 95. are we building the right things? valuable Usable Enjoyable Is it easy to use? Do they want to use it?
  • 96. valuable Usable Enjoyable
  • 97. determine value, create experience, repeat
  • 98. how
  • 99. “We gathered our designers, our product folks and our engineers and took over a few conference rooms and began to operate like a startup. Design was done on whiteboards and coded in real time. Usability tests were weekly so the pace was fast and furious. But we were able to try dozens of experiences across desktop, tablet and mobile in the time that would have taken years at PayPal before. Build/Test/Learn became our mantra.” -
  • 100. Build/Test/Learn
  • 101.
  • 102. work different different
  • 104. - problem - Can’t get started?
  • 105. Ship often. Ship lousy stuff, but ship. Ship constantly.
  • 106. - problem - Find it hard to strip out what’s not valuable? Spend too much time planning? DOn’t talk with your customers?
  • 107.
  • 108. “The timing of longrange plans is screwed up too. You have the most information when you’re doing something, not before you’ve done it. Yet when do you write a plan? Usually it’s before you’ve even begun. That’s the worst time to make a big decision.”
  • 109. - problem - Large team
  • 110. Keep your team small. Smaller than that. No team at all if you can help it.
  • 111. A throwback to their days with Jeff Bezos at Amazon, projects are assigned to "two pizza teams," groups of engineers small enough for them to be fed on two large pies. "We want the team to be flat and allow everyone to communicate with each other," Rajaraman says.
  • 112.
  • 113. - problem - Try to jam too much into a product? Only launch x times a year? Looking for perfection?
  • 114.
  • 115.
  • 116. “Great companies focus on their users and ship great products.”
  • 117.
  • 118. “real artist ship” - steve jobs
  • 119. - problem - It’s going to cost too much to try that out. How do we know our customers will want this?
  • 120. - Mike Krieger, Instagram’s founder The Wizard Of Oz Techniques For Social Prototyping – You don’t need to build everything at first. You can be the man behind the curtain. Krieger says him and Systrom tested an early version of a feature which would notify you when friends joined the service. Instead of building it out, they manually sent people notifications “like a human bot” saying ‘your friend has joined.’ It turned out not to be useful. “We wrote zero lines of Python, so we had zero lines to throw away.”
  • 121.
  • 122. 404 testing NE URE X FEAT W
  • 123.
  • 124.
  • 125. It was an MVP (Minimal Viable Product). I skipped a bunch of features I figured I would implement later. First I wanted to see if people would use it and how they would use it. (...) Implementing user accounts (in Rails) would take me 2 weekends of work; registration, accounts, saving lists, removing lists, tracking, designing screens, edge cases etc. I didn’t want to spend the time if it turned out no one signed up so I ran an experiment. I dropped in a link on the top of the page that said “Sign up to save multiple lists.” and tracked the number of clicks it got with Mixpanel.
  • 126.
  • 127. What is the cheapest, fastest way to learn?
  • 128. Just some of the issues around software development
  • 129. Racing to the right ideas
  • 130. ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas Idea or discovery backlog ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas id id id id id id
  • 131. The Discovery track is all about quickly generating validated product backlog items, and the Delivery track is all about generating releasable software. - marty cagan
  • 132. discovery backlog Iteration design discovery build Implement Iteration Iteration discovery discovery Implement Iteration discovery Implement Implement
  • 133. ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas id id id id id id
  • 134.
  • 135. prototype
  • 136. fast rough keep moving
  • 137. test rough prototypes (usually built within a week or less)
  • 138. (literally 100s)
  • 139. 9:30am 10:30am 11:30am lab setting - 6 participants 1:30pm 2:30pm 3:30pm
  • 140. determine valuable Usable Enjoyable
  • 141. clicktest / survey / Etc...
  • 142. ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas ideas id id id id id id
  • 143. x x
  • 144. the core team Core team makes decisions Done!
  • 145. is collaborative – the product manager, designer and lead engineer are working together, sideby-side, to create and validate backlog items. - marty cagan
  • 146. failed usability failed to understand failed to find value ideas ideas id
  • 147.
  • 148. refine retest ideas
  • 149. ideas ideas Ready for development
  • 150. ea s id What’s your kill rate? ideas Ship that bad boy!
  • 151. Did I mention this happens within a week? (or less)
  • 152. Get moving!
  • 153. LEARN LEAN
  • 154. #1 combined product teams
  • 155. #2 one ux designer per team
  • 156. #3 rough, fast, iterative prototyping
  • 157. #4 Getting in front of customers weekly
  • 158. #5 build/test/learn
  • 159. in no time at all, you too can be a... lean, agile, prototyping, shipping, ux design master.
  • 160.
  • 161. lid S ere sh e thanks! @jeremyjohnson