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Lean UX vs. Agile UX – is there a difference?

Marcin Treder
By Marcin Treder on 14th January, 2013 Updated on 22nd April, 2020

Fighting Kids

Lean UX vs. Agile UX – in the kingdom of buzz words and acronyms

User Experience Design world is a well established kingdom of acronyms and buzz words. UX, IxD, IA, UCD, CX, agile UX, lean UX, guerrilla research, strategic UX, Emotional design… we’re swimming in the sea of strange words risking catastrophe of miscommunication of our own field.

Sometimes these words and acronyms differentiate important phenomenons and sometimes they’re… well just buzzwords trying to promote people who coined them.

Many argue that Lean UX is a meaningless term, that doesn’t differ from much older Agile UX. I couldn’t agree less.

  1. Lean UX expresses important thoughts about processes, that weren’t clearly defined and named before.
  2. Lean UX is a totally different term than Agile UX.

Lean UX describes methods and their practical application in dynamic environment of a Lean Startup. Lean UX unites product development and business, through constant measurement and so called “learning loops” (build – measure – learn).

Agile UX describes update of Agile Software Methodology with UX Design methods. The ultimate goal of Agile UX is to unify developers and designers in the Agile process of product development.

Interestingly enough most of the Lean UX teams will actually use Agile UX to coordinate their software development. For a startup, Agile is a pretty obvious choice of software development methodology.

Lean UX Agile UX


For more advice from experts, download the free 99-page Definitive Guide to Integrating UX and Agile.

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