For Daniel Solomon, employing a Lean UX methodology has been vital. A lean methodology was first made famous by Toyota. Their system had been employed since the 1930’s to minimize waste. It did not gain widespread attention until the oil crisis of 1970’s when Toyota was able to show profits while Japan’s economy ground to a halt. Lean UX is when you take that methodology of maximizing efficiency and apply it to the software world, making it highly applicable to today’s founders.
“Lean UX is thinking beyond just trying to create a quick prototype. It’s more the thought process of a company or the founder, and how they implement those,” Solomon says. And in Lean UX what is key is breaking those ideas down into quick actionable steps. But the other critical component to all of this is time. Are you able to have your team work together in real time so that they are all on the same page? This real time collaboration means you won’t send things out to production needlessly. It means that every part of the team understands how it functions, and for instance, programmers are able to steer design based on what is feasible and a good use of resources.“Lean UX is thinking beyond just trying to create a quick prototype. It's more the thought process of a company or the founder, and how they implement those.” - @DanielFSolomon Click To Tweet
But Lean UX is not just about early ideas and development. It should also be playing a powerful role in how you handle the company’s MVP. Once again, the timing is everything, and it is critical to allow customers to test the product long before it gets big, and adjust accordingly. Solomon explains that it is a lack of a Lean methodology that is the reason why many companies age and die, because they cease to build something without really understanding whether people really want it, or their innovation slows. But “it is the MVP that differentiates startups with corporate organizations, because you’re able to really speak to your customers and get that early feedback,” Solomon says.“It is the MVP that differentiates startups with corporate organizations, because you're able to really speak to your customers and get that early feedback.” - @DanielFSolomon Click To Tweet
Building a product where adapting to early feedback is part of the business model means, “most importantly, you’re giving the user the best experience when they land on the platform, which, in essence, keeps your retention rates high once you have a final product, because you actually build a product for the user,” Solomon says. From acquiring new users to keeping them, the methodology of Lean UX is an invaluable tool.
“You're giving the user the best experience when they land on the platform, which, in essence, keeps your retention rates high once you have a final product, because you actually build a product for the user.” - @DanielFSolomon Click To Tweet
It is Lean UX which allows a company to test out ideas and hypotheses without using up valuable resources or creating wasted efforts. It is also critical to seasoned founders because it helps keep the focus central to what the customer wants and needs, and how to build the best product to fulfill those needs.
In September, Eroe CEO Solomon hosted an event on how and why Lean UX can help startups where he covered.
- What is Lean UX?
- Why it should be central to building your product
- The importance of timing and the team
- How to remain true to core principles as a start-up pre-funding
- Why it is so important to validate hypotheses with data