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Engineering a Design Culture

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Are process and culture interdependent on each other? What do engineers do differently that non-engineers can benefit from? How can we ensure we maintain passion and creativity while working among larger teams and organizations? This session will dive into unique op-mechs and collaboration methods to foster team culture, increase engagement, improve productivity, and help create more empathy between designers and developers.

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Engineering a Design Culture

  1. 1. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE Yvonne So Product Design Manager, Intuit yvonneyso@gmail.com UXDX 2019
  2. 2. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 2 Introduction A story about a team What can engineering best practices teach designers? Leading your team on the path to happiness
  3. 3. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 3 Perceived dichotomy ENGINEERS Generally happy More actively engaged Motivated to solve problems Productivity is high DESIGNERS Stressed out and losing hair Low engagement or disengaged Passion for design, but apathetic toward projects Constantly under deadline
  4. 4. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 4 BUT WHY?
  5. 5. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 5 Cross-functional collaboration Designers working with Business Analysts Content Strategists Designers Developers Leadership Product Managers Marketers Data Scientists
  6. 6. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 6 Design deliverables • Wireframes • Conceptual Mockups • Storyboards • Functional Specs • Personas • Final Assets • User Testing • Prototypes • Research Decks • Journey Maps
  7. 7. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 7 Agile operations Agile methodologies are an alternative to waterfall, or traditional sequential development Agile is a mindset, not a process Focus on experimentation and collaboration over deliverables and documentation
  8. 8. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 8 Varying processes
  9. 9. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 9 Differing goals Sometimes in an agile environment… Designers often feel in a constant state of hustle and grind Designers crave more time to think, create, strategize Every release feels subpar or could be better
  10. 10. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 10 WHAT CAN WE LEARN? WHAT CAN WE DO?
  11. 11. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 11 Designers focused on individual craft CHALLENGE #1
  12. 12. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 12 PAIRED PROGRAMMING Two programmers work together as peers at a single computer, focusing on writing quality software PARTNER DESIGNING Interaction and visual designers communicate regularly Clearly define roles and share the workload or divvy up work into smaller tasks CULTURE OF QUALITY
  13. 13. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 13 Partner designing Analyzing competitorsIdeating on options Making and creating
  14. 14. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 14 Designers designing in a vacuum CHALLENGE #2
  15. 15. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 15 CODE REVIEWS The main purpose of code reviews is to keep code quality and readability high PEER REVIEWS Give and receive feedback System of checks and balances Alignment on brand, illustrations, style guides, patterns, and components CULTURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY
  16. 16. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 16 Peer reviews Reviewing ideas of solutionsReviewing iterations Reviewing fit and finish
  17. 17. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 17 Designers feel productivity is low when files and projects are shared CHALLENGE #4
  18. 18. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 CULTURE OF EFFICIENCY 18 REFACTORING Paying down technical debt, restructuring and cleaning up an existing body of code, altering its internal structure without changing the functionality SOURCE FILE CONTROL Revisit source files and clean them up Make sure layers are adequately and logically named, get rid of unnecessary layers and metadata
  19. 19. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 19 Source file control
  20. 20. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 20 No op mechs in place for open and regular communication CHALLENGE #4
  21. 21. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 CULTURE OF REGULAR COMMUNICATION 21 DAILY STANDUP Every workday at a specified time, the team meets at a daily standup to bring everyone up to date on the information that is vital for coordination DESIGN SYNC Regularly schedule standups so everyone has visibility into each other’s workstreams Share out status, designs, feedback, foster quick sketches, ideation sessions
  22. 22. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 22 Design sync Status updatesDocument deadlines and progress Deep dives
  23. 23. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 23 Designers don’t know what other designers are working on CHALLENGE #5
  24. 24. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 CULTURE OF TRANSPARENCY 24 FEATURE DEMO Keeps stakeholders, executives, and customers up to speed with the progress of product development SHOW-AND-TELL Visually show mocks, prototypes, vision, intended functionalities Allows leaders and ecosystem teammates to give feedback, gain insight, and avoid duplication of work
  25. 25. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 25 Show-and-tell Showcase innovation and work in progressDemo the prototype/product/feature Share vision and provoke what-ifs
  26. 26. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 26 Designers are in a mode of non-stop hustle & grind CHALLENGE #6
  27. 27. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 CULTURE OF REFLECTION 27 RETROSPECTIVE A sprint retrospective allows a team to continuously evolve and improve throughout the product lifecycle DESIGN RETROSPECT Reflect upon what you’ve accomplished, think of new ways to improve workflows, identify anything you should continue or stop doing
  28. 28. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 28 Quarterly design retrospect Think about the futureInclude x-functional partners Write down our thoughts
  29. 29. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 29 SO THEN WHAT HAPPENED?
  30. 30. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 30 Outcomes Improved collaboration (+3 pts in NPS, increased in-person communication, willingness to give feedback and help others, more sharing of files, shared goals) Increased engagement (daily team lunches, regular sketch fests, weekly team check-ins, ad-hoc 1:1s) Boosted productivity (knowledge shareouts, cleaned-up files, aligning roadmaps to reduce duplicative work)
  31. 31. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 31 Culture and morale visibly improved
  32. 32. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 32 From - Do - To Quality Accountability Efficiency Regular Communication Transparency Reflection Paired programming -> Partner designing Code reviews -> Peer reviews Refactoring -> Source file control Daily standup -> Design standup Sprint demo -> Show-and-tell Retrospective -> Design retrospect Individual craft Designing in a vacuum Low productivity Very few team check-ins Low visibility Non-stop hustle & grind WHAT WE DID TO A CULTURE OFHOW IT WAS
  33. 33. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 33 What next? START TODAY. Be surprised tomorrow. Small tweaks in op mechs can go a long way. Start implementing engineering best practices into the creative design process. STICK WITH IT. Persistence is key for any change to happen. Rome wasn’t built in a day! ANYONE CAN. You don’t have to be a leader or someone that specializes in organizational culture. You have the power and ability to influence and foster change.
  34. 34. ENGINEERING A DESIGN CULTURE, UXDX 2019 34 Thank you! Stay in touch: Yvonne So Product Design Manager, Intuit Email: yvonneyso@gmail.com Twitter: @yvonniks

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