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Lean User Experience in a Lean Startup


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Great User Experience is critical to product success. Can you get great user experience at startup speed? Pathfinder Software's Bob Moll and Bernhard Kappe share how design methods can be applied to …

Great User Experience is critical to product success. Can you get great user experience at startup speed? Pathfinder Software's Bob Moll and Bernhard Kappe share how design methods can be applied to the hypthesize-test-learn processes of a lean startup, and the benefits of doing so before product development begins.

This talk was presented at the Chicago Lean Startup Circle.

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  • Organizer of the Chicago Lean Startup Circle. How many are new here? How many are lean startup practitioners? How many are designers or IAs?\n
  • Bob Moll is our Lead User Experience Designer\nMention Pathfinder, the company Bob and I work for. \nWe work with both startups and established companies to launch successful products. We launch more products in a year than the average product manager does in a career.\n\n\n
  • The Lean Startup approach is integral to how we work with customers: Advise them on Customer development, practice lean ux, agile development, lean marketing and metrics. We help our customers accelerate, and build capacity so they can do it themselves. \n\n
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  • It’s a way for lean startup and ux to work together. \n\n
  • Coined and championed by Janice Fraser of LUXR, person x, y, z etc. Pathfinder is practicing and championing this approach here in Chicago.\n
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  • Models for building software: \n\nClassic Waterfall: Write Specs, Build Software, Roll it Out and See What Happens.\nModified: Add a lot of testing to deal with bugs at the end. \n\nResult: Crappy software that cost too much to build and took too much time. \n\nLots of failure: Late, Over Budget, Buggy, Hard to Use, Missing Features.\n\n
  • \nIt’s because you have bad, incomplete, faulty requirements. Business requirements.\nThat’s why we invented agile, that’s why we added UXD. But we never added the feedback loop on the business side! \n
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  • It’s not unusual for new products to fail. In fact, 9 out of 10 do.\n
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  • So this is where the lean startup comes in.\n
  • Lean Startup does not equal cheap and bootstrapped, although some are. Companies like Groupon, Zynga, etc. have lots of capital to apply, and use lean startup methods. \n
  • Instead it comes from lean manufacturing\n
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  • The question is, how do you figure out what’s valuable?\n
  • Both Lean Manufacturing and Agile come from Toyota Production System. The key concept here for us is Genchi Genbutsu (go and see.) \n
  • In a lean startup, Genchi Genbutsu is turned into Get Out of the Building!\n
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  • We like to use the lean canvas for documenting business model assumptions.\n\nUse this to document your hypotheses about problems, customer segments, about solutions, unique value proposition, unfair advantages, channels, key activities costs and revenues.\n\nThe one lean ux principle: one team. Get all the heads in the room for this. Share it with the team. \n
  • Lean ux concept: You are all one team. Get the whole team in the room to brainstorm, timebox it. Put it on a wall. Update it and share with the group and with advisors when you change it.\n
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  • You use different channels to get earlyvangelists for customer interviews, but usually you drive them to a landing page where you can qualify them (are they in your assumed target market, and can/will they talk to you.) \n\nHere’s where you can start defining your brand and your tone, your visual design. Do it fast, don’t waste a ton of time here, but do it.\n
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  • If it’s not in their top problems, they’re not likely to take action, let alone pay.\n
  • UX folks are good at doing these interviews. If you have one, consider pairing with them on this. They understand how to dig out demographics and how to ask questions on how they currently solve problems. \n\n\n\n
  • \nCard Sorting - if you put the problems on cards, and add new problems that they mention, and put them on cards, you give them someting tactile that makes it much easier for them to perform a prioritization.\n
  • We think that card sorting makes for more accurate prioritization\n
  • Find out - through groupings on problems, solutions and demographics: Segments. These segments may have very different problems and solutions, you may need to sell to them in very different ways, and they may have very different revenue models. (Different canvases.)\n\nCapture these in personas - A way of visualizing the customers. A name, a face, their goals, etc. Really useful when you’re thinking about them, and designing for them.\n\n
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  • This is another great place to pair. UX folks are good at doing these interviews. Good ones know how to avoid the bias that you naturally will show - you want to avoid bias, and avoid selling.\n\n
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  • Here’s an example of an infographic that Todd Wyder has used for his company to describe his software. Much easier than a big description. Visualize it, save a thousand words.\n
  • Prototype - Our preference is towards hand sketched screenshots at the beginning. As low fi as possible at this stage, because you’ll be changing this rapidly and often.\n\nLow-fi prototypes - prototype using pencil, paper, post-its, physical objects\n\n\nbring to life a scenario, and have an experience. \n\nSome audiences don’t understand, some times there’s a need for more high fi. - but it’s rare. \n\nExample: A client we work with has a series of physical products around color calibration, color matching, etc. used by professional photographers, designers, etc. This was all about color, so you needed to have higher fidelity prototypes that involved and showed the color. \n\n\n\nStory Flows - In a fixed number of frames (say 8, give or take), show the key points of each of the workflows or business flow your design will address\nLow-fi prototypes - prototype using pencil, paper, post-its, physical objects\nStory video - turn a low-fi prototype or storyboard into a simple video that can be used to validate the idea with customers\nCustomer testing - using created artifacts (low-fi prototype or story video) to conduct customer interviews - can they understand the concept, would they buy it?\nPriority Diagram - what would your product look like if you could only implement 3 features? 5 features? etc.\n\n
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  • Minimum Viable Product is Not the Minimum Product to Make a Profit\n MVP is: the minimum to Validate a Hypothesis.\n MVP is not static: Interim MVPs\n\n
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  • Another example: Glif, a kickstarter project for an attachment that lets you mount an iphone on a tripod.\n
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  • So one of your big risks is that you won’t get to product/market fit. A rule of thumb we use is having customer acquisition costs being less than or equal to one third of lifetime value of the customer. You want to make profit, so you have cost of goods sold, general and administrative, sales and marketing, R&D. If your cost of customer acquisition is too high, you won’t make money. \nYou don’t know what the lifetime value is at the beginning, for a number of reasons - pricing model may not be defined, customer segments, channels, etc., churn, and how much control you have over it, etc. Same with customer acquisition costs. At the beginning, you’re testing a lot, and not everything will work. You get better over time. Some take time to kick in.\n \n
  • Changes to test might be things like layouts, calls to action, lazy vs. upfront registration, help, chat, button colors, sequencing of flows, how much functionality gets exposed for new users, etc. \n
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  • You now have real live customers. That means you have quantitative data you can work with to see what works and what doesn’t \nYou want to make small changes fast and a/b test according to your metrics (customer acquisition and retention) \n
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  • Transcript

    • 1. Lean UX Chicago Lean Startup Circle Bernhard Kappe Bob Moll CEO UX LeadPathfinder Software Pathfinder Software Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 2. The Fastest Path to Product Success Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 3. The Fastest Path to Product Success Lean Startup Lean UX Agile Development Lean Marketing Lean Metrics Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 4. Let’s do a little matchmaking. Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 5. Lean Startup, Meet UX• User Experience is critical to product success: Bad user experience will sink great business solutions• UX designers talk to users, do rapid prototyping, and do testing to validate (sound familiar?)• UX designers have talent, experience, and techniques that are really useful in a lean startup Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 6. UX, Meet the Lean Startup• You’re frustrated that no one on the business side values user research, prototyping and validating with users, right?• Lean Startup practitioners are business people who believe that talking to customers, prototyping and validation are core to their business. (And they have a great personality too) Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 7. You two seem like you’d make a great couple.How can we get you together? Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 8. A Definition of Lean UXApplying design methods (UX) to the hypothesize-test-learn processes of a Lean Startup Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 9. Origin of Lean UX Lean UX: Coined by Janice Fraser of LUXr in San Francisco Josh Seiden Jeff Gotthelf Zach Larson ... Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 10. Our Talk Tonight: 3 Questions 1 What is a Lean Startup?2 How are UX Methods Used in Developing a Lean Startup? 3 What Makes Someone Effective with Lean UX? Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 11. Question 1What is a Lean Startup? Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 12. The ClassicStartup(un-Lean)• Write Business Plan• Get Funding• Build Software• Launch• Get Feedback• Start Version 2 Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 13. Sounds like Classic Waterfall!• Build on Assumptions• Launch• Find Out Your Business Assumptions are Wrong• Try to Change at Scale• Run Out of Time and Money Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 14. If Nobody Buys... =• On Time• On Budget Failed• High Quality Software• Great User Experience Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 15. Reality9 out of 10 new products fail. Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 16. Why They Fail• A Problem Not Worth Solving• Building the Wrong Solution• Can’t Get Customers to Pay• Can’t Get Customers Cheaply Enough Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 17. Another Approach: “Lean” Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 18. Just to Clarify...Lean Startup = Cheap and Bootstrapped Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 19. Lean ManufacturingA production practice that considers theexpenditure of resources for any goal other thanthe creation of value for the end customer to bewasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Workingfrom the perspective of the customer whoconsumes a product or service, "value" is definedas any action or process that a customer would bewilling to pay for. Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 20. “Translation”If customer won’t pay for it, it’s not valuableDon’t spend resources on stuff that’s not valuable Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 21. How do you figure out what’s valuable? Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 22. Toyota Product System (TPS)• Challenges: form a long term vision and meet challenges with courage and creativity• Kaizen: (continuous improvement) - Improve business operations continuously, always driving for innovation and evolution• Genchi Genbutsu: (go and see) - Go to the source to find the facts to make correct decisions, build consensus and achieve goals at best speed Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 23. Go to the Customer• Genchi Genbutsu = Get Out of the Building! (Go to the source (the customer) to find the facts) Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 24. Lean Startup• A scientific method for creating innovation• Goal: Discover a business model that works before you run out of time and money• Experiments to validate business model hypotheses• Fast Cycle Time: Need to go through experiments as quickly as possible, with as little wasted effort as possible. Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 25. The “Lean”Concept Uses a HypothesizeScientificApproach to TestDiscover What LearnWorks with Less ReviseWaste Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 26. Question 2 How are UX methods usedin Developing a Lean Startup? Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 27. Lean StartupBusiness ModelCustomer Discovery Customer Segments Problem Interviews Solution Interviews MVPs Product DevelopmentCustomer Validation Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 28. Lean StartupBusiness ModelCustomer Discovery Customer Segments UX techniques can be Problem Interviews applied to more than Solution Interviews just product MVPs development Product DevelopmentCustomer Validation Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 29. Using UX forBusiness Model Generation Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 30. Brainstorm a Lean Canvas Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 31. UX Method: Team Brainstorm Name a unique way we add value Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 32. Customer DiscoverySearching for Problem/Solution Fit• Get Earlyvangelists• Problem Interviews• Solution Interviews• Build and Test a Series of MVPs• Get First Paying Customers• Pivot? Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 33. UX Method: Prototype Landing Pages to Find Earlyvangelists Landing Pages: First Iteration of Brand and Visual Design Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 34. Using UX for Problem Interviews Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 35. Problem Interviews• Find Out Demographics• Validate Their Top 3 Problems• Rank the Problems• Describe How They Currently Solve the Problems Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 36. Problem Interviews• Pair Interviewing with UX designer• Card Sorting• Use Problem Interview Results to Drive Segments and Personas Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 37. UX Method: Card Sort Too much Hard to use time Expensive! No person e with behind Was te tim s your websit e ext ra step Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 38. UX Method: Card Sort 1 Expensive! 4 Too much time 2 Hard to use e with Was te tim s ext ra step 3p No 5 erson behin d your websit e Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 39. UX Method: Visualize the Personas, Goals Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 40. Using UX for Solution Interviews Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 41. Solution Interviews• Recap Demographics and Problem• Describe and Show Solution (don’t sell it!)• Does it resonate?• What’s most important, What can you take away, what’s missing?• Can you get insight into channels?• Ask about pricing Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 42. Solution InterviewsApproach: Show things, let them talk Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 43. UX Method: Design aninfographic to restate problem Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 44. UX Method: Low Fi Prototypes Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 45. Paper PrototypeShow about 6 screens, ask them to prioritize.4 5 2 6 3 1 Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 46. Paper PrototypeWhat can be taken away? what’s missing?4 5X 2 X 6 1 3 Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 47. Paper PrototypeYou are drilling down to MVP 1 2 3 4 Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 48. Using UX for MVP(Product Development) Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 49. Minimum Viable Product “Enough to Validate”Will people use it? Will they buy it? Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 50. Screenflow Movie PrototypeInitial MVP• Screenflow Movie of Mockups• Landing Page - Sign Up if You’re Interested• Posted on Hacker News and Digg Result: 90,000 Signups in Three Days Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 51. That’s Validation Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 52. Build-Test Process for the MVP Inception Agile Small Releases iterations Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 53. Build the Core, Not Everything Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 54. Agile Iterations Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 55. Time-Boxed UX Workshops (1-2 hours) Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 56. UX Method: Create a Storyboard (Wall) Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 57. UX Method: Prototype and Test Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 58. Once You’ve Validated Problem/Solution Fit and Get Paying Customers ... Move on to Customer Validation Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 59. Product/Market Fit Path to Product Market Fit9000 Customer Acquisition Cost Customer Lifetime Value/367504500 Product/Market Fit: LTV/3 >= CAC2250 0 Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 6 Month 5 Month 6 Month ? Month 8 Month 9 Month 16 Month 11 Month 12
    • 60. Reducing Customer Acquisition Costs with UX• Does the Experience Match the Marketing?• Changes to Optimize Customer Acquisition Funnel/ Experience for New Users Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 61. Increasing LTV with UX• Improve value (and price) through: • adding features • improving features • taking away features• Reduce churn by finding and fostering loyalty behaviors (optimize the customer retention funnel) Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 62. UX in Customer Validation• You have real users and precise usage data on individuals - analyze it!• Make small changes fast (hours, not weeks to get into production)• When you make changes - A/B test (or do multivariate if you have big enough volumes.) Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 63. Question 3What Makes SomeoneEffective with Lean UX? Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 64. Team PlayerDesign + product management +development = 1 product team Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 65. BrainstormingCome up with lots of ideas quickly, then pick the best and test them Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 66. VisualizingGet ideas on a wall in pictures where everyone can see them Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 67. ListeningGet out of the building and talk to people, hear what they say, what they mean Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 68. Rapid Prototyping SkillHypothesize - Prototype - Test (repeat) Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 69. Passion for Problem SolvingGet immersed in the people and problem domain - you’ll be more creative Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 70. No Sacred CowsFlexibility to throw things out and try something new Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 71. Summary Team Player Brainstorming Visualizing Listening Rapid Prototyping SkillPassion for Problem Solving No Sacred Cows Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 72. Lean Startup + UX Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software
    • 73. Thanks for your attention! Find out more: Bernhard: bkappe at Bob rmoll at pathf.com Copyright © 2011 Pathfinder Software