O'Reilly logo

Lean UX by Josh Seiden, Jeff Gothelf

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Part III. Making It Work

From 2007 to 2011, I led the UX team at TheLadders, an online job board based in New York City. During my tenure, the company began its transition from Waterfall to Agile. It was a developer-driven effort, but the company recognized that unless UX was included, the transition would fail. It was up to me to figure out how we would integrate Lean UX with this new style of working. In 2007, if you Googled “Agile UX,” the results page would be littered with blog posts, articles, and case studies that documented failure and frustration. The main themes seemed to be cries of “Agile sucks!” and screeds claiming “UX has no business working this way.”

Undeterred, I continued to search for collaboration and integration ideas. I came across Lynne Miller and Desiree Sy’s “staggered sprint” model—in which the UX team works at a sprint ahead of the developers—and gave it a try. Although it was helpful in getting us to think about our work in smaller bursts, it did nothing to increase collaboration between the disciplines or to reduce wasted effort on specs for features that would never be built.

We were convinced there was a better way, so, like good Agilistas, we continued to tune our process. After several months, I felt like we’d hit our stride. We had increased collaboration, started producing fewer documents, and increased our customer validation efforts. The internal cries of “Agile sucks” and “I hate this” had also subsided. I was feeling pretty good about our little ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required