Or experimentation center…?
It’s awesome to know that you are interested in our stories! But where are the blog posts... are we tricking you? Well, you're actually part of our latest experiment. Check out the article below to find out what we mean.
Getting ready to blog— Ingredients
At Less or More we love to share our stories and expertise. We don’t shy away from making difficult subjects understandable and want the (digital) world to be an easier place. So, with the passion and know-how available, why don’t we already have a big blog?
In order to be successful, a blog requires some specific ingredients, like a good plan and constant love and attention. But finding out what to write about and producing the articles is only half the story. We’d also need to get the word out there. Think about a good social media campaign, offline marketing, SEO and Adwords.
We do have those skills in house, so what are we waiting for? Well, we wouldn’t be such fans of Lean UX if we didn’t practice it ourselves. For those of you thinking “Lean U-What?”, don’t worry, after this article you will be totally up to speed.
Perfection on the first try— The old ways
We could of course start a blog the ‘old fashioned’ way. Aim for perfection on the first try. So, what would that require?
- Brainstorming [12h]. Our work is created through team effort and our blog should reflect that. First off: sit together with the whole team to decide what to share and with whom.
- Analysis [16h]. We should focus our efforts. This means writing stuff that people are looking for and spotting gaps in available content to give us a head start.
- Plan [8h]. A steady stream of content, goals, measurement tools, planning… there’s a lot to think about before we can actually start producing valuable content.
- Adjust website [8h]. A blog will need to be added with proper styling, archives, ready for sharing and optimised for search engines.
- Content development [0.3 FTE]. As much as we love every Less-or-Morian, we know that not everyone is a Hemmingway. So although inspiration can come from anyone, writing blog/social media posts requires expertise.
- Marketing [€ 2.500]. We need to get the word out and although we’d prefer to be found organically, some extra promotion never hurt anybody.
- Measure [0.1 FTE]. It’s no good to invest and to not know what you gain from it. Someone should really keep track of the goals, visitors, engagement and incoming leads.
- Evaluate and adjust [8h]. Although an ongoing process, it seems fair to already plan a session to evaluate the plan, content and results.
Costs after 3 months of blogging? Let’s say something towards € 10.000; a pretty hefty price-tag. Although it will probably be worth something, it’s mostly just based on assumption.
Or through Lean UX— The alternative
Facing this challenge through Lean UX means that beyond assuming, we validate. The way we do this? Small steps and iterations, to find out if our assumptions make sense. For now we started out with a simple experiment:
Think about a good strategy [4h], write one extensive blog post on how we practice Lean UX [4h], announce that we have a blog in on- and offline media [€500], and find out what people think [4h].
That may seem like quite some work for one simple blog post, but remember, after this step, we already know quite a lot, for example:
- How many people actually visit our blog (with and without us telling them)?
- Where do they come from; through which channels?
- How long do they stay?
- Do they like our way of story-telling?
Based on these results we will make new assumptions. These could be in line with our original ideas, like “we definitely need a nice blog with regular posts” and “we should start an online advertising campaign”. But they might also divert into new ones, such as “short stories on social media are more effective” or “being published in external expert sources generates leads effectively”.
The trick is to keep testing these assumptions with a minimal amount of effort and a maximum amount of learning. The lessons from that cycle will provide new insights and so on; rinse and repeat.
Well yea, but...— All questions answered
Does this mean that Lean UX will never produce an end product?
No product is ever finished. There is always room for improvement. The Lean UX process is set up to identify these improvements with minimal investment. This leads to faster iterations, faster launches but most importantly: valuable launches. Either to validate assumptions, or based on validated assumptions. We always keep learning and keep the option open to change direction for the better. However, as our decisions become more educated a validated vision will start to appear. 180 degree turns will be less likely the further we go.
This means that we’re constantly building value in the process, instead of building and then hoping the end result has the value we imagined. Every iteration is a result on itself and can be used one way or the other.
Doesn’t Lean UX cost more in the long run?
However counter-intuitive this may sound: no. Making small iterations and yes, mistakes, means that the end result will be -proven- valuable. As opposed to traditional processes, Lean UX validates functionalities before they are (fully) implemented. Not only does this reduce the risk of building something that might not fit or has the wrong scope, it also allows us to quickly change the course of a project if necessary, without running into high costs.
This setup reduces waste: time and money spent on functionalities that don’t add value. It’s the most cost-effective route to a successful product.
Nice as it all sounds, I actually have another question!
Sounds good, feedback is always welcome! And although we’d love to spar with you, we’d also understand it if you want to send your feedback anonymously, we are trying to learn as much as possible after all.
Sounds great— But what now?
So even though our blog doesn’t actually exist yet, there’s plenty of other things to read on our website!
Have a look at our cases for instance, where you can see how we implement the Lean UX process with our clients.
Or maybe you want to discuss something with us? Even if it’s just about the weather: we love to chat, so hit us up with a message. Really, don’t hesitate!
Interested but not quite ready to talk to us yet? Well, we have some awesome social media channels where we will be keeping you up to date on experiments and stuff we make. What exactly will be on there? No idea, but we’ll find out together.