Lean UX Anti Patterns

The following list is from Bill W Scott‘s excellent Front End Masters course Lean Front-End Engineering.

You can also find these listed in his presentation Lean UX Anti-Patterns

Lean UX Anti Patterns

1. Genius Designer

All design emanates from an uber designer.
Team doesn’t collaboratively participate in design/ideation.

2. Tribal group
When a team is very small members are forced to work across disciplines.
As soon as team gets bigger, tribes reform around disciplines
Collaboration stops

3. Newcomer
Lean teams will form shared understanding.
However, when new team member joins we assume this hard earned understanding will just happen.

4. Addicted
Teams will often make a good start by trying out new behaviours and seemingly leave old behaviours behind.
Beware! Old habits will creep back in.

5. Naysayer
With collaboration so important it is key to believe in the process to create great products.
A single naysayer can bring the team down in an instant.

6. Visitor
Input from outside the team is essential.
However, watch out people cycling in & out of the team can cause the same disruption that the newcomer
anti-pattern causes.

7. Magic Tool
Design & Prototyping tools can accelerate ideation and design.
However, be careful, tools that empower prototyping can enable designers to work in isolation.

8. Going Dark
When a developer, product manager, or designer goes dark for more than a day (or two) the team is losing valuable collaboration.

9. Change of Cadence
Change of cadence is actually a good and normal happening.
However whenever the rhythm changes it can bring productivity down.

10. Too many cooks
The work needs to be divided up among different types of cooks
(Chef de cuisine, Sous chef, Chef de partie)

11. Not enough pizza
When a team suddenly scales up in size
the team is in danger of losing cadence, shared understanding and focus

12. Tower of Babel
Shared understanding is key to lean UX.
However, it is easy to assume too quickly that team members are speaking the same language

13. You Got Mail
Teams can revert to email over collaboration
Also geographically distributed teams can fall into delivery by email versus collaboration

14. Inmates run the asylum
From Alan Cooper’s classic book
When engineers drive design the inmates are running the asylum

15. Perfectionist
Not embracing the challenge of the unknown, the perfectionist will not share their work till it is perfect.
Easy for designers to fall into this trap.

16. Weakest Link
Team members who aren’t up to the challenge of close proximity & transparency can cause a team to stumble

17. The Wall
Walls between teams can happen when
– we allow tribes to form
– we see the other teams as separate delivery factories
– geo-distributed teams

18. Tangled Up Technology
Unless the technology stack is built to have a clear separation from experience & services
the lean team cannot make rapid progress.
Watch out when dev teams care too much about the specific version of the UI.

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