Products need to be built around customers: Lean principles to improve user experience

What if we found ourselves building something that nobody wanted? In that case, what did it matter if we did it on time and on budget?

Eric Ries — Author of The Lean Startup.

Lean UX - What it means

Even niche tech companies cannot ignore the growing expectation of software products being easy to use and coming with a slick modern user interface. On top of that, product capabilities need to deliver true value to various customer groups, bridging the gap between different working methods and knowledge levels.

In recent years, investing more effort in improving the user experience of our products, we have learned to establish a culture and mindset that embraces user experience with lean-agile working methods adapted from the Lean Startup movement and Scaled Agile Framework. New capabilities are accordingly created in rapid iteration cycles of “Build - Measure - Learn”, often using so called prototypes to gather fast feedback from our customers before turning capabilities into code.

Our guiding principle of lean UX is continuous exploration - the quest of truly understanding the problems we encounter in our industry and persistently moving forward to build evidence for potential solutions and improving them until we can give the best possible value.

Product Usage - Qualitative interviews & testing

Before we release new updates or product increments, we take a deep dive into market or customer requirements to ensure we understand the problem scope and are able to frame it sufficiently. Unfortunately, this cannot happen by just visiting prospective customers and taking notes over a cup of coffee - it is often very crucial to understand who you are talking to and why and requires a lot of post-processing to deliver the “right” answers.

We honour the concept of “Gemba Walk” here, a main principle from the lean management philosophy, which teaches to listen and learn in context, without preconceptions. 

Gemba Walk

In case of complex problem statements, we try to visualize our findings in a variety of wireframes and discuss these with our internal experts and partners. While moving forward from doubt to certainty, we put more detail in the UI screens and involve various customer groups to observe how they interact with the UI and listen to their assumptions and findings.

Following these qualitative tests, we build the first minimum capability for quantitative feedback.

Quantitative Data

Learning how our customers use our products really helps us to find patterns to improve the quality and fit of our offerings. To gather quantitative data, we regularly send out surveys and collect anonymous information from within some of our applications. We do not collect any personal information or data from processed documents. Here are a few examples of what kind of data we collect:

  • Product version
  • System stability
  • Profile size
  • Number of inks
  • Measuring condition
  • Editing usage
  • Simulation usage (noise, missing dots)

We are aware that also anonymized data collection triggers concerns nowadays and are happy to answer any of your questions. Trust is key for us and we are committed to data protection and data privacy as defined by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If you are interested to be part of our reference or beta customer pool to co-create new features (or products) with us, please feel welcome and get in touch with us.

Contact us by E-Mail or via phone: + 49 (0) 7071 938 74 - 0.

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