3 per group
Developers, Designers, Product Owners
This practice is part of: Product Ownership.
What is it?
In a Lean UX Workshop, participants practice interviewing and learning about a user. Then, they prototype and refine a product that solves a real problem faced by that person.
Why use it?
This practice helps build a culture of user-centered design and lean UX. It’s a hands-on activity that can provide a break from presentations or technical workshops. It’s also a great icebreaker!
How to facilitate
Before each step, spend a minute or two explaining what participants will do and answering questions.
- Introduce Lean UX and user-centered design. Depending on the audience, consider one or more of the following (10-15 min):
- Demonstrate a mock user interview
- Show a short video
- Describe an experience practicing user-centered design.
- Ask people to self-organize into groups of three and pick a role: User, Designer, or Developer.
- Ask the designer to interview the user. (3 min)
- The designer asks user about his or her morning routine (from waking up to arriving at work).
- The interviewer looks for a problem that the user ran into and asks open-ended questions to learn more.
- Ask the developer and designer to prototype a solution to the problem using Lego. (7 min)
- Have the developer and designer present their solution to user and get feedback. If possible, they should let the user try out the product! (3 min)
- Have the team refine the Lego solution and gather additional feedback. (7 min)
- Ask two or three teams present their solutions. (5 min)
The facilitator should move from table to table to make sure teams are progressing. If teams finish early, they can build another prototype and A/B test the solution.
Consider writing these notes on a whiteboard.
- Ask open-ended questions - not closed (yes/no) questions.
- Use the “ladder” technique: keep asking “why” to learn more.
- When you have something to measure, use ratings on on a scale from 1 to 11. This helps participants give honest feedback instead of thinking of the rating like a grade in school.
- A timer or stopwatch (the Time Timer is great)
- A whiteboard (optional)
- Lots of Legos! The Large Creative Brick box is great.
- Objectified: Smart Design OXO Good Grips Story
- This video is a great example of a team using user-centered design to solve real problems and develop a business valued at worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Lean UX
- This book covers the overall “How” and “Why” behind this activity. It arranges practices around a “Build, Measure, Learn” loop.
- Design Thinking 101
- This article explains design thinking in terms of a “Understand, Explore, Materialize” loop, which is similar to the Lean UX loop.
- Usability Testing
- This practice is similar to the open-ended interview we run here.
- Design Thinking: Friend or Fad
- An activity with the author of this post helped inspire the Lean UX Workshop!