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Keys To Successful Design Practices: Multi-disciplined Team Management
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Keys To Successful Design Practices: Multi-disciplined Team Management


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Today’s landscape of competitive design requires a new breed of thinker. Solutions-minded individuals who can easily cross the once distinct, left-brain, right brain boundaries. The proliferation of …

Today’s landscape of competitive design requires a new breed of thinker. Solutions-minded individuals who can easily cross the once distinct, left-brain, right brain boundaries. The proliferation of RIAs and 2.0 apps cause the need for specialized roles to be replaced with cross-disciplinary functions, such as the “Devigner” (Developer/Designer). But how does a team of cross-functional minds work in today’s adhocracy?

Mickey Moran, User Experience (UX) Strategist, Interaction Design (IxD) Professional and Creative Director, presented on how to empower today's new breed of mavericks and how to merge these cultures into successful design teams.

Published in: Business, Technology, Design

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  • 1. Keys to Successful Design Practices
    The Multi-Disciplined Team Environment
  • 2. A Place for Everything…
  • 3. …and Everything In It’s Place
    Information Architecture
    Graphic Artist
  • 4. Changing Practices
    The Issues of Today
  • 5. Documented Bureaucracy
  • 6. Bureaucracy means…
    …a collective organizational structure, procedures, protocols and set of regulations in place to manage activity (usually in large organizations and government)
    Source: Wikipedia
  • 7. Application Development
    Collective Output
    Bureaucratic Design
  • 8. Bureaucracy Issues
    I want ROI!
    “I know what the business needs and I have to keep things in check so that we don’t lose site of our investments.”
    I want practical!
    “I know what user’s need and I have to mediate our internal egos so that we stay focused on our constituents.”
    I want innovation!
    “Business thinks they know what creative means, IA has too many rules, and development keeps telling me my ideas are impossible…”
    “…BTW if someone else refers to me as the “Make it pretty person” I’ll puke!”
    I want reality!
    “You want me to do what, by when? I have to deal with creative retreating in their hole after dumping me with rounded corners and dynamic flash, business thinks in can all be coded in a few days, and IA has too many rules.”
  • 9. “Same crap. Different day.”
    Apathy…has arrived!
  • 10. Adhocracy means…
    …any form of organization that cuts across normal bureaucratic lines with the intent to capture opportunities, solve problems, and get results fast and efficiently
    Source: Wikipedia
  • 11. Characteristics
    Highly organic structure
    Little formalization of behavior
    Roles not clearly defined
    Tendency to cluster groups in functional units for the purpose of deploying them in small, market-based project teams
    A reliance on liaison devices to encourage mutual adjustment
    Low standardization of procedures, because they stifle innovation
    Selective decentralization
    Work organization rests on specialized teams
    Power-shifts to specialized teams
    Horizontal job specialization
    High cost of communication
    Culture based on democratic and non-bureaucratic work
    Source: Wikipedia
  • 12. Multiple Hats?
    Passion. Ability. Goals. Stay Ahead of the Curve.
  • 13. Self Taught?
    Passion. Ability. Goals. Stay Ahead of the Curve.
  • 14. Who Am I?
  • 15. A New Breed of Thinking
    The Multi-Disciplinary Individual
  • 16. “The more you know about the medium you work in, the better you work in that medium.”
    while (!(succeed = try()));
  • 17. “For optimum efficiency, as a designer I will not only be concerned with painting the bigger picture but also building it!”
    Creatives Should Code
  • 18. “Translating a written language to something that can be visually seen is truly an art form.”
    Code Is Poetry.
  • 19. ?
    Emerging Content
    Text Messaging
    Social Networking
    User Generated
    Mobile Apps
    Office Online
    Open Source
    SAAS/Cloud Computing
    Web 2.0
    Touch Screen
    You Wanted Innovation…
  • 20. “The effect of rich Internet applications has been incredible, both in breadth and depth.
    We're seeing everyone from Internet hobbyists to large enterprises building RIAs—and seeing their business improve dramatically as a result..”
  • 21. Constantly Changing
  • 22. “Not only should creatives code, but they should understand usability and human factors.”
  • 23. Game Changing Interfaces
  • 24. Turning Thoughts Into Practice
    The Multi-Disciplinary Team
  • 25. Leah Culver
    CEO, Pownce
    Social networking site
    Rob Kalin
    eCommerce engine and site for handmade artisan goods
    Kristopher Tate
    Photo sharing site
    Dalton Caldwell
    Music and video social networking site
    Matt Mullenweg
    Blog Tool and Publishing Platform
    Una Kim
    CEO, Keep (
    Non-Pink shoes and clothing geared towards the urban, athletic, surfer cultured-female
    Game Changers.
  • 26. Goals
    Be extremely productive in application development
    Create expressive applications with effective interface patterns
    Deploy applications through a well-distributed, high-performance, cross-platform, cross-browser runtime environment
    Use tools and technologies that scale with the size of the project and complexity of the task
  • 27. Solutions-Oriented Roles
    Information Architecture
    User Experience Strategist
    Interaction Designer
    Graphic Artist
  • 28. The Devigner Workflow
  • 29. The Devigner Workflow
  • 30. Enable Hand-Off Strategies
    HARVEST MODEL(Designer is removed from source – short term goal)
    Developers can “Harvest” assets from designers in cases where designers cannot check in files to a source repository
    The designer may be handing off exclusively graphic assets exported from a tool, or the designer may be creating actual WPF animations, styles, and templates that are then incorporated by the developer
  • 31. Enable Hand-Off Strategies
    COLLABORATION MODEL (Designer interacts with source)
    The designer is actually authoring the solution in tandem with the developers
    The designer may be checking XAML files into a source code repository and likely will be able to compile and run the application
    Boundary between designer and developer is blurred as designers can code the presentation layer and UI developers can handle graphic and interaction design
  • 32. My Current Situation
  • 33. User Experience Strategy
    We own everything front-end, from:
    User Research/Ethnography
    Best Practices in Design
    Product Brand
    Design and Creative
    Prototype Development
    Client Testing and Validation
    Pattern Library Definition
  • 34. Thanks!
    “Now, Let’s Talk About it! ”