Leadership

My Leadership Approach


A quick summary of some of my favorite and most effective techniques, exercises, methods, etc. as a design leader and as a colleague.

 

  • My mantra, "Every experience matters". Great UX starts with valued employees so it makes perfect sense to focus on their experience as well.
     

  • Discover, learn and share. Create an environment that we continually teach each other.
     

  • Personalize. There are many personality types and traits so it makes sense to personalize each employee experience.
     

  • Never stop mastering communication. The single biggest challenge and responsibility that designers have is to become excellent communicators. This is a set of skills that needs continual refinement. 
     

  • Collaborative estimating and planning. In the spirit of teamwork, planning together creates transparency of what each person is working on, delivering, and many need help with. 
     

  • Inclusion. The best ideas come from many experiences, backgrounds, ideas, and perspectives; for this reason, it makes perfect sense to create a culture of inclusion into our design process. 
     

  • Honest and safe design reviews. Again borrowing from experience matters, there are constructive ways to do design reviews that promote growth and discourage unproductive criticisms.

  • Experimenting is not only encouraged it is expected.
     

  • Room to fail and learn safe experimentation. Getting it wrong happens, not a problem; let us learn from it.
     

  • You will have space to innovate. Practice capturing creative thinking, and foster new ideas.
     

  • One of my favorite meetings is the retrospect. I believe that you will become better if you can reflect, identify, learn, and make a plan to improve.  This can be a one on one, team, or cross-functional exercise to improve every aspect of what you do and with whom you do it with.

My Design Approach
 

  • Discover and learn.

  • Practice the 5 whys.

  • Identify users' needs and business strategies and understand the differences.

  • Needs gathering and card sorting.

  • Journey and empathy mapping.

  • Writing and aligning on our Point of view statement.

  • Attach OKR's to our point-of-view statements to make them measurable. Strive for the "wow".

  • Creative thinking and free ideation.

  • Converge, diverge, converge.

  • Iterate, iterate, iterate.

  • Present and use storytelling to communicate.

  • Iterate and present again.

  • Book-ends test.

  • Clean, helpful, and approachable handoff.

  • Design QA.

  • Retrospect.

Some of my Favorite Design Principles​
 
  • Start with the "Every experience matters" attitude.
     

  • Don't just design what is given to you; understand why it will make a difference. Practice the five whys.
     

  • Design for the book-ends. If you design for the novice and you design for the power users, chances are you will satisfy most users in between.
     

  • Rather than critique, practice honest, safe, and productive feedback reviews.
     

  • Optimize your systems, tools, approach, communication, and delivery. 

My Ideal Team Makeup

Rather than hiring only specialized designers, I like to build my teams by hiring and training designers to be versed in all areas of design. 

 

Obviously, individual designers will have their strengths so my approach is to give each designer projects that best utilize their talents while we work on the other facets of design.   

Exceptions: With every rule, there is an exception. The design technologist is a very specialized role that requires proficient coding capabilities that I don't expect from other designers.

 

With all roles, I believe it is important for them to take part in design research. Understanding the user's needs, journeys and struggles  should influence all decisions
 

Popular Design Role Types:

  • User research

  • Interaction design

    • Prototyping

    • Motion design

  • Visual design

  • Motion design

  • Information design

  • Usability research

  • Design systems manager

  • Design technologist