Lean UX and the dichotomy of being a UX consultant

I was listening to Jeff Gothelf’s podcast on Lean UX, and it articulated what I’ve felt for a very long time. 

If Lean UX is new to you, it is about reducing waste in the work we do. It’s about looking at all the tools we have in our UX toolkit and deciding which tool to use at the right time, AT THE RIGHT DEPTH. It’s focused on rapid iteration in low fidelity. 

It’s about getting out of the deliverables business and focusing on the business of design. Amen!

What I think Jeff is alluding to is similar to what Joshua Porter talks about in Deliverable vs Delivery.

The job of being a UX consultant requires us to be both a consultant and a designer at the same time. While the designer in us would focus on iterating the design till it works, the consultant in us thinks about how best we can communicate the work we do to audiences in a meaningful way. 

In my experience, working towards a deliverable has been a practiced way of working. The deliverable is the [shiny product] we work our butts off producing that marks the end of one phase and the beginning of another. 

But I wonder: is this really the best way we can provide value? We pour our blood, sweat and tears into the deliverable and perch it up on a pedestal, forcing us to defend it when we face criticism, when really, design should be a CONSTANT dialogue of “what if..” and “did you consider..”? 

To quote Jeff: 

“Designers should not be held to the expectation to get the Design right the first time.” 


Have we somehow unconsciously moved from delivering a design to delivering a design deliverable?

My obsession has been not just to design better things, but to design better as well. Which is why this topic of Lean UX invigorates me. To end off this blog post, I leave you with a few references to how other UX professionals have “trimmed the fat” off their processes to deliver a better design more efficiently. 

I’d love to hear your views and stories on the topic of Lean UX and how it has helped you!

Lean UX References:



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