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Very often as UX professionals, we find ourselves needing to shoot from the hip. Projects hit barriers, funding gets tight, and priorities shift. The work still needs to get done though. I learned a phrase for this sort of thing from a mentor of mine, who had originally heard it from one of his.
Lean UX is when you have to rely on the lessons you've learned in the past and make judgement calls for the sake of efficiency. It isn't the way we want to do the work, but sometimes you just have to design with the user in mind and a bunch of Google tabs open.
I've captured a few such projects here. Some are things done to be more efficient, and others are quick design work that didn't follow a process. I just worked off of what I knew and by getting feedback from the team.
I was on a project that had experienced many changes of leadership over the years. On top of that the whole game was moved over to a new company for development. There had been a lot of churn on the project and it was officially time to get things out the door.
As the only UX designer on the project, I often found myself in a position where other departments needed my work quick. There are times when it is good to slow down and push back on rushing the process. This however was not one of them.
Many design recommendations were left on the cutting room floor. To account for this I kept a running tab of UX debt. This is work that I felt would be beneficial for users, but maybe needed to wait until we could release a V2.
I kept a priority matrix for this debt as well so I could make pitches for work whenever the position arose to add V2 work to the road map.
Wireframe design library
When designing quickly it helps to create a system to pull from. This helps speed up the process, but has the added benefit of creating consistency across alignment artifacts.
Our project did not have a design system to work from and in truth it would have been too much of a time commitment from our small team to create and upkeep one.
I found it was very helpful however to create a design system specifically for my own low and mid fidelity wireframes.
Diner Dash Mini Game
The game I was working on wanted to prioritize live ops mini games which we were calling "events". We had been working with a third party developer and they were responsible for doing this work for most of the development cycle.
My company decided they wanted to bring all of that work in house. We had a looming deadline for soft launch approaching and because events were going to be the main driving force in our game we needed some designed ASAP.
Product felt comfortable with a few of the events that were done already outside of our team, but they wanted another completed. The idea is that users would collect ingredients while playing slots and complete customer orders in the event to gain prizes.
The bellow wire flows are just a snapshot of the Figma documentation. I'm happy to go into detail about the decisions made and how the event was supposed to work, just ask!
Collections was a feature that was designed and redesigned a few times. The feature had originally been completed by a UX designer who was on the project before I arrived. After they completed the work on it, the whole thing was put on the back burner.
A lot of the design files had been mixed up and misplaced as the project transferred over to a new company. When it came time to start putting the feature in game producers and product thought it was more complete than it was.
as a result the feature was put on the roadmap for engineering prematurely. This was going to be a big retention feature and stakeholders wanted it in game ASAP. I designed based on previous work that had been captured, and by referencing other games such as Slot-o-mania that had successful collections features
The below wire flows are just a snapshot of the Figma documentation. I'm happy to go into detail about the decisions made and how the event was supposed to work, just ask!
Please reach out if you would like to talk more about Lean UX and how to minimize how often we may need to use it.
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