What is Lean UX: Efficacy

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Last week I did a knowledge sharing presentation reporting back on my March trip to Lean Day UX in NYC. I’d been getting a lot of questions about lean UX. So the presentation had become more focused on the what, why, and how of lean UX and less on my trip.

The day before I presented I got some final feedback and found myself feeling like I still hadn’t nailed it. I was missing the what in simplest terms. That’s when I managed to boil it down to these two ideas:

Lean UX is:


1. Collapsing [documentation] steps by concepting in a predetermined set of real code (eg. Bootstrap or Foundation) in order to speed execution (i.e. efficiency).


2. Making all hypothesis testing [vision through tactics and business creation through customer use] more iterative and explicit in order to improve focus (i.e. effectiveness).


Simplification could be taken a step further in focusing on the why, saying that the combination of efficiency and effectiveness is efficacy (i.e. The ability to produce a intended result.) so that lean UX becomes the pursuit of efficacy. However, at that point the how, ability, or means by which to produce efficacy is lost, and the definition could be used for any type of lean activity.

Focusing only on the how, collapsing steps and emphasizing testing, would eliminate the value of why lean UX should be pursued.

Thinking these things through helps me with how to communicate why I think what I think. Let me know what, why and how you think in the comments below. Thanks! David

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