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Requirements are hypotheses: My experiences with Lean UX

Presented at the IWMW16 conference for UK Higher Education digital professionals, 21 June 2016 at Liverpool John Moores University (Twitter: #IWMW16 #P1)

(Use of Jeff Gothelf's materials and ideas gratefully acknowledged @jboogie)

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Requirements are hypotheses: My experiences with Lean UX

  1. 1. Requirements are hypotheses My experiences with Lean UX UX Manager, University of Edinburgh @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  2. 2. @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  3. 3. Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  4. 4. @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  5. 5. What is Lean UX? "Inspired by Lean Startup and Agile development, it’s the practice of bringing the true nature of a product to light faster, in a collaborative, cross-functional way. We work to build a shared understanding of the customer, their needs, our proposed solutions and definition of success. We prioritize learning over delivery to build evidence for our decisions." Jeff Gothelf @jboogie @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  6. 6. Or to really boil it down… Requirements are assumptions Jeff Gothelf @jboogie @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  7. 7. Willie Wonka didn’t do Lean UX @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  8. 8. Feature focus Reduce waste. Don't build things that people don't want. @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  9. 9. @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  10. 10. Lean UX hypothesis statement • We believe this [business outcome] will be achieved • if [these users] successfully • [attain this user outcome] with • [this feature] @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  11. 11. The Lean UX cycle @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  12. 12. Putting Lean UX into practice #1 CMS user support provision @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  13. 13. Following the Lean UX for enterprise steps… 1. Begin with a specific desired outcome for the business 2. As a team, work towards this by collaboratively establishing: • What business outcomes are important to us? • Who is the user? • What outcome does the user want to achieve? • What features will they need in order to do so? @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  14. 14. CMS user support goal "We see a month-on-month reduction in one-to-one time spent supporting customers with CMS-specific questions" @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  15. 15. Business outcomes • Grouping the results of our individual brainstorming • We then dot voted to identify priorities @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  16. 16. Meet our CMS users @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  17. 17. Rough personas • Creating rough personas to get yourselves started is ok • The point is to externalise assumptions, not definitively identify your audiences • Engagement with users later will help to evolve & validate them @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  18. 18. Outcomes for our personas • Brainstorming again, we identified potential needs our users have • We associate particular needs with particular types of user @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  19. 19. Mapping features • We identified potential features • Using a simple table, we began formulate service hypotheses • The columns correspond to the blanks in the Lean UX statement @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  20. 20. Example hypothesis • We believe an increase in user support self service will be achieved • if Ed successfully • gets a walkthrough key features and top tasks with • video guidance to supplement written support materials @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  21. 21. Example hypothesis • We believe an increase in user support self service will be achieved • if Olive successfully • gets a quick answer to their CMS support question with • an enquiry form that suggests FAQs based on keywords @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  22. 22. Now what? Get lean! •What is the smallest thing we can do or make to test our hypothesis? •What do we need to learn first? •What is the least amount of work we need to do to learn that? @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  23. 23. User support: An ongoing experiment • We are experiencing a downward trend in our support calls • Lots of factors at play though • The videos • Analytics shows they’re well used • Anecdotal user feedback is good • We’re growing the catalogue • The smart enquiry form • 2% of visitors to the form subsequently submit a support call • A majority still access our support queue via email • We need to do some usability testing @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  24. 24. Putting Lean UX into practice #2 Website search functionality @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  25. 25. Website search features • We ran a feature survey in late 2014 with staff and students ( • ‘Advanced search query builder' came 3rd (11% votes) • Top 3 = 35% • Top 5 = 56% • Technically a ‘quick win’ • UX potentially a nightmare @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  26. 26. Are you sure you want that? Really? • It's well established in research that what people say and what they do aren't the same • We typically think that we want more power & more features, when really we appreciate simplicity and efficiency @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  27. 27. Back to Benny…
  28. 28. @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  29. 29. What’s the quickest way to check? @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  30. 30. What’s the quickest way to check? @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  31. 31. And guess what… • We revealed this on 3 separate occasions for short periods • It was seen 35,097 times •Click rate - 0.003% @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  32. 32. Benefits of testing this hypothesis • We reduced development time on something of limited benefit • We learned stuff about our customers • We focused our efforts in other areas • Responsive design for search results • Easy filtering by relevance and currency • Autocompleting filtering of contacts by keywords @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  33. 33. In conclusion @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  34. 34. Start hypothesising • Try to head off the feature-first approach with the Lean UX hypothesis statement • Get creative with how you test the hypothesis • Help your managers by • Framing their request • Providing data to inform decisions • Minimising the effort you commit upfront • It’s not a validation effort if you’re not willing to kill the idea (More about our experiences: @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  35. 35. Thank you Questions? UX Manager, University of Edinburgh @usabilityed #IWMW16 #P1
  36. 36. Photo credits • 2: • 3/28/36: • 4: • 5: • 6/7/9: • 8: • 9: • 10: • 12: Josh Seiden @jseiden • 27: • 29: