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Design Process: The Art of Guided Chaos

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Design is messy. Bringing structure to design is a challenge when the business is moving fast and your team is learning to scale. It’s all about the art of guided chaos. Participants will learn about what goes into “design process” for the product design team at MailChimp, and how we think about healthy, collaborative environments.

Eric Toledo is the Director of Design Operations at MailChimp where he runs the talented product design team. He is a storyteller, tinkerer, problem solver, and champion of fostering a shared vision across an organization. With more than 15 years of design lead experience, Eric is driven by a fascination for how design teams work, a passion for building highly collaborative environments, a fearless pursuit of delightful experiences, and an unending curiosity for the customers that MailChimp serves. Previously, he served as the product design lead at TestFlight before it was acquired by Apple in 2014. As part of the iTunes design team, Eric led the design effort for TestFlight for iOS and tvOS as well as release management tools for the App Store.

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Design Process: The Art of Guided Chaos

  1. 1. design process the art of guided chaos Eric Toledo Director of Design Ops @MailChimp
  2. 2. mailchimp design
  3. 3. Brand & Culture Product Marketing Product Design Design
  4. 4. Brand & Culture Product Marketing Product Design
  5. 5. Product Design
  6. 6. design is chaos
  7. 7. divergence is healthy
  8. 8. idea confidence
  9. 9. product development
  10. 10. Prioritized Queue Ideas Staffing Cross functional Planning Week Mission Control Planning WeekProject Proposals Staffing & Learning ~ 4 Weeks ~ 2 Weeks 1 Week Production Every 2 weeks Execution Cross functional Showcase Execution 10 Weeks
  11. 11. Planning Week ExecutionExplore Design Core Projects Prioritized Projects Product Marketing
  12. 12. orientation
  13. 13. centralized vs distributed
  14. 14. centralized partnership
  15. 15. cross functional XFteam XFteam XFteam XFteam XFteam XFteam D DD DD D
  16. 16. core XFteam XFteam XFteam XFteam XFteam XFteam D DD DD D
  17. 17. Product Management EngineeringDesign Brand & Culture Product Marketing
  18. 18. design process
  19. 19. flows sketch wires comps prototype
  20. 20. sketch comps markup / css
  21. 21. sketch react app
  22. 22. tools to communicate
  23. 23. design process is an iterative function of confidence
  24. 24. harness the chaos
  25. 25. go wide
  26. 26. Define Learn Define Execute Explore Create
  27. 27. Define Learn Define Execute Explore Create Diverge Diverge Converge Converge
  28. 28. Define Learn Define Execute Explore Create ¯_( )_/¯ Diverge Diverge Converge Converge
  29. 29. Ideate Refine Test
  30. 30. Ideate RefineTest Diverge Converge
  31. 31. idea confidence
  32. 32. idea confidence Visibility Shared Ownership Parts Bin
  33. 33. idea confidence Visibility Shared Ownership Parts Bin
  34. 34. checkpoints
  35. 35. Weekly Statuses Design Reviews Product Round Ups Design Office Hours Showcases
  36. 36. Week 1 Week 2
  37. 37. Week 1 Week 2 Showcase Thur Increasing confidence
  38. 38. Week 1 Week 2 Showcase Thur Status M Status M Increasing confidence
  39. 39. Week 1 Week 2 Design Review Tu Design Review Tu Status M Status M Increasing confidence Showcase Thur
  40. 40. Design Review Tu Design Review Tu Product Round Up Wed Increasing confidence Status M Status M Showcase Thur Product Round Up Wed
  41. 41. Project Round Up Wed Office Hours Fri Office Hours Fri Increasing confidence Design Review Tu Design Review Tu Status M Status M Showcase Thur Project Round Up Wed
  42. 42. idea confidence Parts Bin Shared Ownership Visibility
  43. 43. visibility
  44. 44. share early and often
  45. 45. • Core Reviews • Invision • Slack #wip • JIRA • Status Sheet
  46. 46. use your feet
  47. 47. idea confidence Parts Bin Visibility Shared Ownership
  48. 48. shared ownership
  49. 49. building consensus
  50. 50. “ideation is about shared invention. attaching a single person to a single idea hinders collaboration and greatness” - Brendan Boyle
  51. 51. cross functional show and tell
  52. 52. follow up
  53. 53. design QA
  54. 54. Shared Ownership idea confidence Visibility Parts Bin
  55. 55. a parts bin
  56. 56. beyond MVP
  57. 57. idea confidence Visibility Shared Ownership Parts Bin
  58. 58. confidence Visibility Shared Ownership Parts Bin
  59. 59. confidence Parts Bin
  60. 60. confidence
  61. 61. reflect & react
  62. 62. retrospective
  63. 63. sample habits • Build early consensus • Elevate compromises to leadership • Document design decisions • Account for design work in planning week • Participate in planning & statuses
  64. 64. take aways • Establish checkpoints • Foster visibility • Nurture shared ownership • Save the flakes • Reflect and React
  65. 65. excellence is a continuous process - A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

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