Your weekend reading: RUINED BY DESIGN

Mike Monteiro’s Ruined by Design is the perfect weekend book for any practicing designer and design leader. At a couple hundred pages of breezy, punchy, caustic, and funny prose, it goes by quickly (maybe 3 hours of reading time?), and that includes the time you will pause to reflect. Because you will occasionally put theContinue reading “Your weekend reading: RUINED BY DESIGN”

Design orgs, and the design profession, needs to get its shit together before expecting others to do so.

“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” – John 8:7 How you run your design org is doing more to inhibit its potential than anything else within your company An impetus for writing Org Design for Design Orgs was a realization I had when taking over designContinue reading “Design orgs, and the design profession, needs to get its shit together before expecting others to do so.”

Thoughts on Hiring a Design Leader (director-level and above)

April 2018, I suddenly found myself out of a job—included in a round of layoffs that shut down the office I worked in. As there was no long drawn out descent preceding my being let go, I wasn’t burned out, and, in fact, found myself energized. I dove into the job market, looking for opportunitiesContinue reading “Thoughts on Hiring a Design Leader (director-level and above)”

Unpopular Opinion? Consider ResearchOps before Researchers

Many years ago, Jared Spool wrote about the importance of “exposure hours” for project team members: The number of hours each team member is exposed directly to real users interacting with the team’s designs or the team’s competitor’s designs. There is a direct correlation between this exposure and the improvements we see in the designsContinue reading “Unpopular Opinion? Consider ResearchOps before Researchers”

The Most Important Role In Your Design Org: Team Lead

Discussions of design leadership tend to look upward, toward the executives and directors who sit atop the organization. And while those folks are indeed important, their efforts overshadow what I’ve realized is the most impactful role in a design organization: the “lower-middle management” of the Design Team Lead. Defining Team Lead To make sure weContinue reading “The Most Important Role In Your Design Org: Team Lead”

Design at Scale is People!

I believe the single most interesting challenge and opportunity for design as a practice and function is to figure out how to operate at scale. Upon reflection, our book was essentially about setting up your organization to deliver design at scale. Much of “design at scale” discussion is dominated by design systems (most of whichContinue reading “Design at Scale is People!”

Conduct better designer portfolio reviews with this tool

TL;DR: Here’s a Portfolio Review–Set-up and Assessment Tool for you to use. A couple years ago I contracted with Capital One to help bring some order to their rapidly expanding design organization. I focused on recruiting and hiring practices–when you’ve got ~40 open reqs, you want to make those processes as efficient and effective asContinue reading “Conduct better designer portfolio reviews with this tool”

If I were to write a second edition of Org Design for Design Orgs…

It’s been about two years since Org Design For Design Orgs came out. After having worked with it, taught it, and spoken with many design leaders and seen many design orgs, there’s a list of things I know I’d want to address if we wrote a second edition (note: no plans to do so). Make dual-trackContinue reading “If I were to write a second edition of Org Design for Design Orgs…”

Read about athenahealth’s smart, pragmatic approach to scaling design within an agile product organization

For the kind of nerds who dig this website, I suggest visiting athenahealth’s Experience Design’s recently updated Medium site, with 5 articles related to design org matters. Of particular note are: “Embedding Product Design in a Large Agile Organization“, which addresses the challenge of having ~85 designers work across >200 scrum teams while maintaining qualityContinue reading “Read about athenahealth’s smart, pragmatic approach to scaling design within an agile product organization”