UX for Lean Startups

UX for Lean Startups by Laura Klein

I have to say that this book is a complete breath of fresh air:

● It’s very practical. You can go out and try the techniques right away.

● It gives you a great overview of how UX should work in real life.

● It’s fun to read – Laura Klein is never boring.

Sound interesting? Let’s get into the nitty gritty!

Who is this book for?

It’s for entrepreneurs and non-designers

Laura says this book is for entrepreneurs and decision makers and this is true. I often give this book to my entrepreneur friends and business partners. The world would be a much better place if every entrepreneur read this book at least once.

So, it’s great for non-designers and I often recommend to kick-off learning about UX with this book because you’ll get a sense of how it works in real life and how exciting working with users is. You’ll have plenty of time to gain deeper academic knowledge of UX later.

But it’s not just for non-designers…

I’ve had great experience in UX and with digital products but when I read this book I found I still learnt a lot of new techniques. At Webabstract, it’s a must read for every designer 🙂


 The book has a really nice, clean and easy to read design.

Tell me more…

Laura kicks off her book as all the other authors in the Lean series by explaining what is Lean UX and what is lean anyway. I was happy to read about how UCD (user centred design) and Lean UX relate to each other and how UX could be integrated within an agile environment since there’s a lot of misconceptions out there about these topics.


If you read this book, you’ll learn about…

How to validate ideas through research

What is problem and market validation? How can you validate your product idea(s) before actually designing anything? This is essential for everybody who has ever thought about building a product.

Do the right research at the right time

Though it’s not a comprehensive guide to UX research, it’s definitely one the best to start out with. It gives you what do you need to get started, how to set up and run a usability test and describes which essential research types should be in your toolkit.

and… be a guerilla! Laura teaches you to focus on the outcome to find the quickest and cheapest way to get real feedback from your users (for pros: you will read about hallway testing 🙂

Just enough design and prototyping techniques

This book will teach you how to focus on the necessary parts. Also, there some wireframing techniques (lo-fidelity and high-fidelity), and ways of prototyping.

These chapters are great for beginners, who want to try wireframing for the first time. You’ll learn the basics: wireframing, fidelity types, design hacks and patterns.


Wireframing and prototyping techniques explained. You can see examples for lo-fidelity prototyping.

An MVP is both an “M” and a “V”

I really loved the parts about the MVPs. Laura introduces multiple types of MVPs: fake-door-testing (though it’s a research technique, it really is a way of validating ideas), Wizard-of-OZ and landing page validation.

This is a must-read chapter for entrepreneurs and start-ups. Being able to quickly test and validate an idea is an essential ability.

I was fond of this book from the very beginning. It’s really practical: every chapter is finished with a quick recap and ensures you can execute things right now.

It’s also easy to understand and it has a great visual style – which I’ve found valuable after reading lots of boring books and articles 🙂

However, this bit is one of my favourite parts of the book:

User testing the competition

This is a really simple method, but one of the most effective ways to learn more about a target market and current solutions. You simply take your competitor’s product and conduct usability tests of it.

This way, you will learn what your competitors do right and what problems and obstacles they are facing. Besides the usability testing, I like to ask follow-up questions so it’s a user interview as well (what they like in a current solution, how they generally perform certain tasks related to the problem).


Overall, this book is a superb way to get into UX. I would recommend it for every start-up (seriously, it’s a must-read), designer and decision maker. Also, it’s a great piece from the Lean Series which features multiple great books such as Lean UX, Lean Customer Development and Lean Analytics.



Reviewed by: Csaba Házi


Csaba is a founder and UX Architect at Webabstract. He has extensive knowledge in Lean UX and Customer Development. He coordinates product teams on a daily basis and ensures that workflow is focused on the user. He also runs the blog Usergravity.io.


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