Emerging role in design orgs: The Super Senior Individual Contributor (Principal Designer, Design Architect)

As design organizations scale, many design leaders are realizing that they’re missing a key function—strategic thinking and creative direction that can make sense of the effort of a design team that is working across many products, or distinct parts of a customer journey. In the book, we implore design orgs to deliver at all levelsContinue reading “Emerging role in design orgs: The Super Senior Individual Contributor (Principal Designer, Design Architect)”

Have better career conversations with your design team with this levels framework

tl;dr: I’m publishing a refined Design Team Levels Framework, based on what we’ve developed for Snagajob. Use it in good health. As a design executive, one of the things I’m obsessed with is career development for my team members. We devoted a chapter to it in our book, including a levels framework which I shared in aContinue reading “Have better career conversations with your design team with this levels framework”

The Minimal Design Team, according to Victor Papanek

In our workshop based on the book, we discuss the range of skills that need to be brought to bear for a design team (which is more extensive than what we wrote in the book): This breadth is necessary for delivering on end-to-end service experiences that cross-channels, devices, and touchpoints. If the team doesn’t warrant having theseContinue reading “The Minimal Design Team, according to Victor Papanek”

Where should designers sit?

One of the most common questions we get when teaching our workshop, and which friend-of-the-blog Todd Dominey submitted through our contact form, is “Where should designers sit?” It’s an interesting question, because it feeds a debate where there are two positions: Designers should sit with other designers in a studio-like setting, to benefit from peer critique, and learn andContinue reading “Where should designers sit?”

Customer-centered is the optimal org model in a world of services

In Org Design for Design Orgs, we argue that design teams should be organized by customer journey. Let’s say your service is a simple marketplace. Instead of having designers embedded in the different product teams that make up the marketplace (a fully decentralized and embedded model), or instead of having a single monolithic team (a fully centralized model), to insteadContinue reading “Customer-centered is the optimal org model in a world of services”

Centralized vs Decentralized UX orgs… over 20 years ago

In Org Design for Design Orgs, an entire chapter (Ch. 4, The Centralized Partnership) addresses organization models for design teams, specifically centralized, decentralized and embedded, and the Centralized Partnership, our preferred hybrid approach. After I spoke at the Big Design Conference in Dallas last week, an attendee, Randolph Bias, pointed me to a paper he co-wroteContinue reading “Centralized vs Decentralized UX orgs… over 20 years ago”

Glowing unsolicited feedback about “Org Design for Design Orgs”

In writing Org Design for Design Orgs, Kristin and I had a sense of the kind of impact it could have, in that it addresses a gap in the current conversation around design, specifically on organizational, operational, and managerial issues. And while we consider this topic vital, we weren’t sure how readers would respond. So,Continue reading “Glowing unsolicited feedback about “Org Design for Design Orgs””