Motivating UX Teams

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Presentation given at the 2009 IA Summit by Dorelle Rabinowitz, UX manager at eBay. Its chock full of practical advice and stories on how to inspire your team to do great work.

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Motivating UX Teams

  1. Motivating UX Teams: Inspiring people to do great work Dorelle Rabinowitz IA Summit 2009 1
  2. About me ‣ Designer. Information Architect. Manager. Storyteller. 2 2
  3. What went wrong at the HPL? ‣ Loss of confidence ‣ Unclear expectations ‣ No performance feedback ‣ Lack of 2-way communication ‣ Lack of goals & challenges = Zero motivation 3 3
  4. But I fixed it ‣ Found an ally ‣ Asked for feedback ‣ Initiated responsibility ‣ Inspired trust and was able to do great work 4 4
  5. Top reason people leave their job? 5
  6. Top reason people leave their job? Their manager 5
  7. So where are the strong? And who are the trusted? And where is the harmony? 6
  8. Managers provide the foundation for success ‣Setting the stage ‣Building and trusting the team ‣Leading day to day and design activities ‣Share information freely 7 7
  9. Setting the stage: making stuff happen 8 8
  10. SETTING THE STAGE Understand yourself - manage your confidence 9 9
  11. SETTING THE STAGE Clear goals go a long way 10 10
  12. SETTING THE STAGE Clear obstacles ‣Help get stuff done ‣Prioritize ‣Fight procrastination 11 11
  13. I’m just a soul whose intentions are good Teamwork starts with understanding 12
  14. TEAMWORK Understand roles and responsibilities ‣ Manager ‣ Get work done ‣ Lead ‣ Critique ‣ Team ‣ Hands on (or not) ‣ Stakeholders ‣ Get everyone on the same page ‣ Clients ‣ Assign /delegate ‣ Group/Company tasks & priorities ‣ Get rid of obstacles 13 13
  15. TEAMWORK Understanding team’s strengths/weaknesses ‣ Know what they’re good at and what gives them trouble ‣ Can you tell when they’re feeling good and when they’re in a rut? ‣ Can they come to you when they’re in trouble? ‣ What are their personal goals? Career plans? 14 14
  16. TEAMWORK Hire smart ‣ Hire great people and trust them to do their job ‣ Let them do it their way and feel free to tell you that the way you suggested was wrong and why ‣ Lose bad apples - one bad apple does spoil the whole bunch ‣ Set boundaries - can you be a friend and a manager? 15 15
  17. TEAMWORK Over-communicate to build community ‣ Positive reinforcement - a pat on back goes far ‣ Celebrate accomplishments in public ‣ Help everyone see what everyone else is up to ‣ Care enough to confront and correct ‣ Give away the credit 16 16
  18. TEAMWORK Manage emotion ‣ Keep an eye out for complainers ‣ Be a problem-solver to resolve conflicts ‣ Email or in person - whats the appropriate medium? 17 17
  19. TEAMWORK Gaining respect and earning trust “I need to be able to look up to my manager and feel that I can learn from them. If that's not the case, I am having a hard time accepting them as a superior” “Be yourself. Be honest. Set boundaries and then let it go” 18 18
  20. Day to day activities 19 19
  21. Day to day activities 19 19
  22. Day to day activities 19 19
  23. Day to day activities 19 19
  24. Day to day activities 19 19
  25. A word about design feedback 20 20
  26. Three major kinds of design reviews ‣ Peer Reviews ‣ Extremely frequent and informal ‣ Meet 1:1 with designers and stakeholders ‣ Quick feedback on explorations and ideas ‣ Team Reviews ‣ Regularly scheduled ‣ Team provides guidance to improve usability and solve open problems ‣ Collaborative refinement of solutions ‣ Stakeholder Reviews ‣ Scheduled for key project milestones ‣ Stakeholders validate design against competing needs ‣ Decisions based on prioritization of objectives 21 21
  27. Sharing info freely 22 22
  28. Dealing with ‣ divas ‣ people who want your job ‣ bad projects ‣ uncertain economy - layoffs 23 23
  29. Thanks to the photographers on flickr... ‣ http://www.flickr.com/photos/jannem/510243975/ ‣ http://www.flickr.com/photos/64086520@N00/1234372727 ‣ http://www.flickr.com/photos/genuinelam/314061316/ ‣ http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisarellano/ ‣ http://www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/232296239 ‣ http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitesidetheatre/3110914201 ‣ http://www.flickr.com/photos/jontintinjordan/43060641 ‣ http://www.flickr.com/photos/leonandloisphotos/226800605 ‣ http://www.flickr.com/photos/livlab/2871901572 ‣ http://www.flickr.com/photos/pierodemarchis/408123668 24 24
  30. Questions? ‣ dorelvis - twitter, IM ‣ dorelle_at_dorelvis.com Copyright © 2009 Rabinowitz All rights reserved. 25 25

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